Nonfiction and Poetry Writers Talk Podcast

all the way to just about there

About all the way to just about there: In poems shaped by nature, news stories, and the sine wave of motherhood, Sandra S. McRae shows us the miracles embedded in the everyday. She zooms in on mountain flora, then trains a telescopic eye on the night sky. Her X-ray vision transports us to the many worlds tucked inside a mysterious suitcase, a kitchen pantry, even the internal clockwork of disease, which “burns like a star/ in the universe of the body.” Laced with humor and compassion, McRae’s poetry bears witness and holds power to account. The poet teaches us to listen for “the thundering approach/ of the invisible” on a journey that takes us all the way to just about there.

About The Magic Rectangle: With seeming innocence, Sandra S. McRae asks us to “watch how plastic bags and straw wrappers can get caught in the eddy of a breeze,” but then demands “Justify your life” – allowing responses to be double-spaced “when appropriate.” In her hands, “where the hell are the rubber bands?” becomes an existential question. After reading McRae’s poems, we too hear rocks say “It goes faster than you think. We should know,” and we know we are not alone. A magical read.

About the Author: The Colorado mountain landscape looms large in Sandra S. McRae’s poetry. She portrays the altitude, flora, and fauna as only a mountain resident can. Her poems are penetrating, often humorous, and always tilted to see the truth in a better light. Sandra writes about nature and domestic complexities, the political and the divine, food, and hunger of all kinds. Her books include a full-length poetry collection, all the way to just about there (FutureCycle Press); a prose poem collection, The Magic Rectangle (Folded Word); and the bestselling cookbook Weber’s Big Book of Grilling (Chronicle). Sandra’s poetry has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, and she has been nominated for a Pushcart prize. She lives in the mountains and teaches creative writing, literature, and composition at Red Rocks Community College near Denver, Colorado.

Review: “Sandra S. McRae’s poetry is clearly for thinking-and-feeling human beings who are hungry for poems that speak to the core of their lives. Her wit, humor, and moral ferocity insist on our wakefulness, our attention not just to the words—which are unfailingly the right words—but to the sensibility that gives them such extraordinary verve and color. Her ‘rowdy protest of longing’ is Whitmanesque, as is her capacity for deep engagement—as a woman, a mother, a wife, a lover of nature, and a citizen of an America, like Whitman’s, in need of ‘moral identity.’ It is a testament to McRae’s essential optimism that her poems can inspire in us the sense that we are, or at least can be, all the way to just about there.”

—Joseph Hutchison, Colorado Poet Laureate (2014-2019)

Purchase: Amazon / Future Cycle

Contact Sandra: Website / Email /

Listen to the Podcast here.

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