“Stephen McDonald reveals the sacred that’s in everything around us. He finds God in a sowbug, in a blue-belly lizard whose eyes are “deep as every unanswered question”, and in his hands, even starting up a lawn mower is a kind of prayer, a recognition that “the grass is long,/your time is short”. In the title poem, when the boy steps out of the House of Mirrors, the faces of the people at the carnival “waver and shimmer”. This is what these poems do—they show us the shimmering world.”
“House of Mirrors is about people: fatherhood, family, strangers and friends, notable for its attention to language and empathy for its subject matter, the human in all their many guises.”
“I’m drawn to the poems of Steve McDonald, the way they move so easily from the sacred to the profane and back again. Their language is both lyrical and specific. Their subject is the human heart.”
“Steve McDonald makes the ordinary extraordinary as he examines nature and ourselves in unflinching detail. In House of Mirrors, we move from the wonder of a spider and its intricate web to the machinations of the human heart. The beauty of McDonald’s imagery opens us to his and our own vulnerability and struggles (“Mud nests hang...like forgotten laundry”) —language that views the natural with reverence. In this book the startling and raw turn into a state of grace. These are elegant poems—moving and redemptive.”
Steve McDonald’s poetry has appeared in numerous journals, including RATTLE, The Crab Creek Review, The Paterson Literary Review, Spillway, Blue Unicorn, The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, and The Cresset. His chapbook Where There Was No Pattern was published by Finishing Line Press in 2007. In 2008 he was a finalist in the Sow’s Ear Poetry Awards, and his work appeared in Best New Poets 2010. Steve is Professor Emeritus of English and former Dean of Languages and Literature at Palomar College in San Marcos, California. He lives with his wife, Marlyle, in Murrieta, California.