“Margaret McCarthy’s poems are steeped in visions–part Shirley Jackson, part Rumi. When she sails off in search of “the ache buried in the heart of everything” you yearn to follow into the labyrinthine mystic depths of these luxurious poems.”
– Richard Peabody, editor Gargoyle Magazine

“Evoking Wallace Stevens in her slyly humorous poem, “Thirteen Ways of Looking at Cher,” Margaret McCarthy addresses loss: of youth, of seasons, of those held dear. How do we transcend the pain of this? She tries to answer, this poet who acknowledges her affinity for, her delight in, the word, “slut.” With the eye of a feminist, she asks what if, instead, it had been Icarus’s sister? Would she know how far to go? In her first collection, NOTEBOOKS FROM MYSTERY SCHOOL, McCarthy shows us that yes, she knows.”
– Susana H. Case, author of 4 Rms w Vu

“In Notebooks From Mystery School, Margaret McCarthy considers the cycles of nature and the cycles of our lives—“beginnings and endings, / the egg of the world”—as she enters a dark, Celtic unknown. Loss permeates these poems, many of which have striking images, especially “The Shadow Mother,” : “she became thin, translucent as worn silk, / I saw right through her, / I saw her on both sides of the veil, /she was the veil itself.” McCarthy’s photographic eye captures the remarkable beauty and resilience that carry us through the sorrows and mysteries of our days.”
—Michele Wolf, author of Immersion and Conversations During Sleep

“Mesmerizing.  Margaret McCarthy’s poems leap off the page and hold us close, whispering secrets; then suddenly letting us go– knowing this– we are changed forever.  Her work is nothing less than dazzling.”
Jamie Callan, author of Ooh La La!, Bonjour, Happiness! and
French Women Don’t Sleep Alone

Read the review from Mom Egg

by Margaret McCarthy