Mitchell L. H. Douglas' dying in the scarecrow's arms is among six recent books of poems that “deliver truth with originality and grace” according to U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith. Smith recognizes Douglas’ work in the April 2018 issue of O: The Oprah Magazine. Author of the forthcoming poetry collection Wade in the Water, Smith won the Pulitzer Prize in 2012 for her third book, Life on Mars.
Douglas' dying in the scarecrow's arms is the first book discussed in the feature that celebrates National Poetry Month. Smith notes that the book-opening "Loosies," an elegy for Eric Garner, contains "a sense of violence and vulnerability that touches everything after." In the midst of these poems of survival, Smith says the book's five-part love poem "Persist" is "restorative" and succeeds in "turning even the routine into a daily astonishment."
In addition to Douglas, Smith reviews poetry collections by 2017 National Book Award nominees Shane McCrae (In the Language of My Captor) and Danez Smith (Don't Call Us Dead), Eve L. Ewing (Electric Arches), Khadijah Queen (I'm So Fine), and Nicole Sealey (Ordinary Beast).
The April 2018 issue of O is available at newsstands now.