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Shane McCrae is the author of six full-length books of poetry—most recently, The Gilded Auction Block, which will be published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in the fall, and In the Language of My Captor, which was published by Wesleyan University Press in 2017, and was a finalist for the National Book Award.
His poems have appeared in many journals and anthologies, and he has received a Lannan Literary Award, a Whiting Writer’s Award, a fellowship from the NEA, and a Pushcart Prize.
He is part of the permanent faculty in the Columbia University MFA Writing Program, and lives in New York City.
[…] Shane McCrae is a poet and author. He is currently working on his next manuscript titled The Gilded Auction Block which is comprised of poems about Donald Trump. After working on this book, McCrae found that he was weary of the subject so subsequent work, as far as he can tell, has nothing to do with the controversial Commander in Chief. “There’s a way of thinking of Trump as a sort of muse-like figure although I’m not sure that I want to,” McCrae says. With Trump in the White House, time seems to have shifted, he says. Although a year has passed, McCrae still feels caught up in the first moments of disbelief that followed the 2016 election. For The Gilded Auction Block, McCrae thought about Trump as a representation of the United States. His poem Everything I Learned About Blackness I Learned from Donald Trump is a reaction to the installation of such a president in a nation that, in part, supports him and an examination of what that means within the wider world. Other poems from The Gilded Auction Block take on other figures within the Trump sphere such as Jeff Sessions. McCrae points to a feeling of one-dimensionality, a comic book presidency he calls it, that creates a sort of surreality surrounding the entire administration. To hear more about this and other works, and to hear the author read selections from his books of poetry, listen to the full interview. […]