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Claire McQuerry


E-book (Other formats: Paperback)


Crab Orchard Series in Poetry


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About the Book

In Lacemakers, Claire McQuerry investigates the timeless questions of relationships, of loss and longing, and of environment both natural and manmade. This informal yet haunting collection juxtaposes a myriad of perspectives—public and personal, interior and exterior, sacred and secular—to explore the fathomless mysteries that abound between one human and another. From the metallic hum of the air conditioner to the thrumming of quail wings in the Arizona desert, from the necklace of brake lights on the freeway to the more dangerous and intimate highways of the human heart, McQuerry explores the impact of our environments, both urban and natural, on humankind. Spirituality clashes with modernity in the holiest of places, and we are relentlessly confronted with the irreconcilable otherness of our fellow man. Above all, Lacemakers returns obsessively to separations, offering searing insight into our inability to truly know another person, meditating on the subtle abysses that eternally divide us from others.



Claire McQuerry is a creative writing fellow at the University of Missouri-Columbia and an editor for The Missouri Review. She was a 2011 Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg prizewinner and a finalist for the Olive B. O'Connor fellowship in creative writing. Her poetry and nonfiction have appeared in American Literary Review, Louisville Review, The Los Angeles Review, Western Humanities Review, Creative Nonfiction, and other journals.

Check out her author webpage here:


“The poems of Lacemakers have much in common with the experience of gliding she describes so vividly in one poem—all lightness and delicacy and daring. At the same time, their urgently associative cinematography moves and accrues until with the poet we feel equally sized to the sky and fastened to the particular and exquisite life of things. Lifted on the page by an impeccable ear and her careful, unflinching eye for the arresting metaphor, these graceful lyrics manifest a twenty-first-century pilgrim’s desire to dwell in the space between the gravities of place and the lure of the placeless, between bodily desire and the clarity of the bodiless, between the ties of Earth and those of an elusive Heaven.” —Daniel Tobin, author of Belated Heavens

“Bearing both the loving attention and the estimable skill of the lacemaker, Claire McQuerry attends to the abundant, often perplexing threads that comprise the apparent world, intent on making of that abundance something that serves. Hers is a craft that makes apprehensible that ‘sweetness of all things beyond reach.’”—Scott Cairns, Author of Compass of Affection