"This is it," announces one of the titles from deep inside Lynn McGee's new collection of poetry. "This is it," the arrival of a new heart to quicken the body of a lover, "a jigsaw in the surgeon's hand flicks its razor tongue"; "This is it," "the world's sea level rising" in "Sober Laundry"; This is "that sweet moment before impact, don't waste it." And so it is, climactic moments attending ordinary events—cooking, washing, trying to sleep—as if to say, no event is ordinary ... This poet looks life in the eye, welcomes it: the smell of burning rubbber on Franklin, even those who would keep her from her lover's bedside. "This is it." This life. With her unique gift she shows, there is no other.
—Mervyn Taylor, Author of The Waving Gallery and No Back Door
Heartbreak lives in the pages of Sober Cooking by Lynn McGee. Yet so does joy as the poet keenly observes and experiences life in the small details that render love—for lovers and place and family. These poems of loss and mortality are alive in this poet's command of language and her art, from image to tone to pace, and finally, in their surprise. They are genuine from their first lines to their resonate last lines. Each poem makes us feel the poet's pain, irony and affections as well as our own.
—Elizabeth Haukaas, Author of Leap
At a time in American poetry when so many writers are concerned with the poetics of irony and cool; of associative cleverness that keeps the reader emotionally at arm's length, and the politics of po-biz, how refreshing it is to read Sober Cooking. Lynn McGee writes from the central humanity that the lyric has always longed to embrace. These poems remind us of the art's full potential; its ability to elicit empathy, to engage our feelings, to make us flinch, to help us rejoice.
—Gerry LaFemina, Author of Vanishing Horizon, Little Heretic, Steampunk and Notes for the Novice Ventriloquist
Sober Cooking was published by Spuyten Duyvil Press in 2016. The cover design of Sober Cooking is by Robert Gizis, based on the 15-foot, outdoor steel sculpture Fish Tree by Tobias Flores and Zbigniew Ben Pingot, on permanent display at the Unified Port of San Diego sculpture garden. The cover title design and original typography is by Maggie Cousins.