A selection of the finest published work of poet Michael Fitzgerald, selected and arranged by the author.
Michael Fitzgerald is the author of numerous volumes of poetry, nonfiction, and children’s literature and the winner of several awards. He is a Pulitzer Prize nominee and has studied at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He has edited two anthologies on the arts, Creative Circle and Where Art and Faith Converge. He has worked on projects for the American Jazz Museum, the Association for Bahá’í Studies, the Folger Shakespeare Library, the National Endowment for the Arts, Sarah Lawrence College, Smithsonian Institution, the Virginia Commission for the Arts, the University of Michigan, and others. He lives and works in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.
From the Foreword (by Anne Gordon Perry): “With a voice that is powerful, hopeful, universal in its perceptions and influences, sophisticated yet accessible, life-embracing, art-enhancing, and spiritually aware, he calls us to ponder the important—nay, essential—aspects of life.
Transformation—both individual and collective—is often Fitzgerald’s theme. For example, one of his volumes of poetry is called Songs for the Phoenix—aptly named, since the phoenix is quintessentially associated with rebirth. In his work we find over and over an affirmative articulation of the possibility of self and societal recreation, not in a naïve sense but one informed both by the Bahá’í Revelation (a world-embracing religion positing the oneness of humankind, equality of the sexes, harmony of the races, balance of science and faith, inevitability of world peace, and importance of the arts) and his own insightful understanding based on observation, growth, and illumination. Fitzgerald calls humanity to the arena of transformation, not just those who might be considered among the intellectually or artistically élite, or even those who have undergone the most suffering; he sees the “perfect phoenix / flying the dance of everyone— / . . . singing the earth’s song.” He includes references to workers, the disabled, carpenters, and composers—women, men, and children, for in his work there is a “seat at the table for everyone.”
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