Meals at Midnight
by Michael McClintock
Meals at Midnight, Poems by Michael McClintock, the newest
collection by this renowned poet, is a heady banquet of the finest of modern tanka poetry in
English—a feast for heart and soul.
Anyone who loves tanka and haiku will be thrilled by this
outstanding collection, already widely praised by poets and critics
"Those who knew Michael McClintock as the foremost poet of ‘liberated
haiku' decades ago will discover here a more deeply liberated tanka
poet. In Meals at Midnight we find the utter simplicity of a man who has
found the world new, through love, and with that, a language free of
artifice or struggles for effect. These are deeply, purely, the poems of
a liberated heart, innocent and playful against the tapestry of the
I'm going out to count
if you wait up for me
I might bring back a few
It has been worth the wait."
-William J. Higginson, author, The Haiku Handbook, etc.
"Michael McClintock has given us an exquisite collection where every
poem, in its tight and masterfully-crafted lines, is rich with
unexpected imagery and layers of narrative. Every poem vibrates with the
eternal resonance of myth and seasons within its immediate story; every
one gives us something far beyond the moment. With McClintock as our
guide, we are with these poems ‘in that lucid hour/when the sun's a
chariot/wheeling through the cedars.'"
-Laura Maffei, Editor and Founder, American Tanka
"Michael McClintock's tanka bear the stamp of authenticity. Shot through
with a wry sense of humor, they contain the flavor of a man who has
lived broadly yet deeply, who's taken his share of knocks, and who has
no time for insignificant frills or the lies so many people tell
themselves. Beyond their rich craft and formal design, the poems of
Meals at Midnight rest upon insight, character, and a gusto for life.
Another of his outstanding achievements."
-Dave Bacharach, Editor of Ribbons: Tanka Society of America Journal
"All these years I have thought of Michael McClintock as a tough old
bird. How delightful then to read this collection of gentle poems. The
word ‘gentle' may be misleading, for the poet in his lonely moments
responds with strength and acceptance to what such a moment brings. The
title itself resonates for me, for even though only one poem is about a
midnight meal, I am reminded of Takuboku's essay ‘Poems to Eat.' These
are poems in that vein. That is to say, a tanka poem is the very life
blood of being, as important as food is. I feel in these poems the
importance of nature, but it is not the nature so often seen in haiku
and tanka, a nature used to conveniently fit a human condition. No,
these poems are the poet living in nature, concerned with nature,
appreciative of nature. And with this love of nature is the poet's love
of a woman. To share these feelings with Michael offers something
positive in this modern world gone berserk. As Michael shaves the
shadows from his face, so do we-finding in these quiet poems a good deal
that is relevant amid the turbulence of our world."
-Sanford Goldstein, Atellib House, Japan
"These tanka-and some haiku-speak of a world that is both intimate and
domestic and yet vast and ineffable. It is poetry that for all of us is
instrumental in ‘making a home between them' as Michael McClintock says.
He remains one of the strongest and original voices in contemporary
-Miriam Sagan, author of Map of the Lost (University of New Mexico
Press) and columnist, Writer's Digest
"I like Michael McClintock's poems of animism . . . they are very
attractive. In Japanese literature, particularly in tanka, animism is a
very traditional way of viewing the world. However, it's very difficult
to use effectively. McClintock's animist tanka are very natural and
one at a time
I step on stones
and cross the stream-
when I'm across, the stones
go back to what they were doing"
-Kozue Uzawa, translator of Ferris Wheel, winner of the 2007 Donald
Keene Translation Award for Japanese Literature, and editor of Gusts
About the Author:
Michael McClintock holds degrees from Occidental College and the
University of Southern California in English and American Literature,
Asian Studies, and Information Science. McClintock's poetry has been
widely published and translated internationally, including by Nobel
Laureate, Czeslaw Milosz. He resides in Los Angeles and Fresno,
California, following a career as principal librarian, film and
recordings curator, and administrator for the County of Los Angeles
Public Library System.
For media inquiries or to arrange an interview with the author, contact
Michael McClintock by e-mail at MchlMcClintock@aol.com. Publisher
This book is available from www.Lulu.com/modernenglishtanka, from major
booksellers, and from the publisher. Complete information and a mail or
email order form are available online at www.modernenglishtankapress.com.
Hard cover with dust jacket-Price: $24.95 USD. ISBN 9 978-1-935398-01-1.
Trade paperback-Price: $11.95 USD. ISBN 978-1-935398-00-4. 104 pages,
6.00" x 9.00", perfect binding, 60# cream interior paper, black and
white interior ink, 100# exterior paper, full-color exterior ink.
Return to the Tanka Online Bookstore Main Page.