Ronald Moran ’58
Clemson University Digital Press (2009)
There is something deceptively simple about Ronald Moran’s poetry, as though any of us could be poets, had we the inclination.
In Waiting, Moran’s 10th book/chapbook of poems, he seizes upon what could be fleeting moments in the life of a septuagenarian—lying in bed beside his sleeping wife, whose health is failing; percussive July 4th in his South Carolina town, the annoying sound of an unidentifiable power tool roaring in the middle of the night. But for Moran, who can see clearly what most of us are blind to, it seems there is little that doesn’t lead to reflection. That reflection is graceful, playful, and contemplative.
The poems are by turns funny, irreverent, poignant, but always with an element of the sublime, a reminder that late in life our days and nights are filled with both the mundane and profound. Moran’s meditations on his last months with his wife, Jane, linger long after the book is closed.
Oh no,/and I knew/if I slept I would awake to a day barely light,/to her pain/in hushed moans, to her life slipping away/from me, no matter what I do or say or pray for silently/behind closed doors,/my head bowed, my fingers interlocked so tight/they bruise.
Gerry Boyle ’78
Down East Books (2010)
You have to like Jack McMorrow.
Part Indiana Jones, part devoted family man, he makes women swoon and tough guys run for cover in Damaged Goods, the ninth novel in Boyle’s McMorrow mystery series.
In this installment the ex-New York Times reporter finds his picture-perfect life in the Maine woods shattered when an angry Satanist terrorizes his social-worker wife. After the bad guy loses custody of his abused and starved children, he vows revenge and threatens “an eye for an eye.”
The danger moves closer, targeting McMorrow’s daughter, Sophie. When a bloody knife and note are found in her bedroom, McMorrow sets out to find the men responsible—and keep his daughter and wife safe. In a subplot McMorrow becomes entangled with Mandi, a young “escort” he interviews for a story, and discovers a mysterious alias, a bloody murder scene, and a scarred young girl trying to pick up the pieces of her shattered life.
This Maine thriller offers a witty and touching first-person account of a father’s love, a husband’s tough choices, the chain of friendship, and a mystery that keeps readers hooked until the very end.