ABOUT THE BOOK
The Upper Peninsula Misses You (ELJ Editions, 2015) is a family tale told in three acts--a narrative separated by semi-historical section breaks--it is writing that is very much concerned with place, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, but the broken landscapes and failing families found within can just as soon be from anywhere all across America.
PRAISE FOR THE UPPER PENINSULA MISSES YOU
Not unlike some of the best writers of setting--including Willa Cather, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Cormac McCarthy, and maybe the closest comparison, Michigan poet Philip Levine--Mark Magoon understands how setting affects character, success, and failure. In The Upper Peninsula Misses You, Magoon shows how sometimes circumstances both self-created and beyond our control militate against our having what we most desire. He captures this strain between people and their times and places in language that is beautiful but not needlessly showy, and in a tone that is un-pitying, and maybe more importantly un-self-pitying. He picks his targets and writes into the heart of them with brutal sympathy. - Kathleen Rooney, author of O, Democracy!
Mark Magoon's "The Upper Peninsula Misses You" evokes the specific geology of the land he writes about: the slow passage of time and glaciation, the ever-present mines, and the inescapable relationship of people to the natural world. I was an avid reader of Magoon's work before I knew of his connection to Michigan's Upper Peninsula, and as both of my parents grew up in the U.P., it was with great anticipation that I opened this book. And all of that anticipation was answered. Not only did Magoon's poems show me my own Upper Peninsula in an unexpected light, they also gave me a brand new Upper Peninsula to consider. The first line of the first poem starts the reader off with the idea that "a beginning is never too small," and for me, that single line encapsulates a work that begins with a place and a narrative, a work that transforms the personal to the universal and back again through many iterations. - Jennifer Finstrom, Poetry Editor, Eclectica Magazine
Mr. Magoon's poetry collection is a triumph -- he perfects the language of pain, and we readers are wiser and better for it. - Mathieu Cailler, author of Loss Angeles
"The Upper Peninsula Misses You" carries the narratives of an entire region and a distressed family, spanning generations and (at times) eons. It's rare to find a collection of poems that feels so connected, bound together by much more than the book's spine. Above all its beautiful, haunting language and palpable soul-bearing, "The Upper Peninsula Misses You" serves as a sobering reminder that the loneliest places are often the ones with the most memories. - T.J. Peters, poet & filmmaker