Pardon My Heart is an exploration of love in the contemporary African American consciousness. Marcus Jackson's poetry examines the heritage of the Great Migration and the pathways that forged African American cultural identity. Through blues, jazz, and the discovery of new livelihoods in northern industrial hubs-the people and voices in Pardon My Heart have a vibrant tradition of love to compete with, or to escape. Adult grandchildren of the Great Migration, the speakers and subjects in Jackson's poetry depict the urgency and pliability of contemporary African American love and loss.
In this strong, lyrically complex collection, Jackson documents an African American young adulthood and the movement toward courtship, marriage, and maturing love. Pardon My Heart reckons with past experiences and revelatory hard-earned ideas about race and class that will resonate with importance in this urgent political climate.
Marcus Jackson was born in Toledo, Ohio. He earned a B.A. from the University of Toledo and continued his poetry studies at NYU and as a Cave Canem fellow. His poems have appeared in the American Poetry Review, Harvard Review, and the New Yorker. His first collection of poetry, Neighborhood Register, was released in 2011. He lives with his wife and son in Columbus, where he teaches in the creative writing program at the Ohio State University.
"A book born out of a pain pounded into the skin, of an unstoppable song, of the terrible wondrous thing we call love, Marcus Jackson's Pardon My Heart is a full blown heartbreaker. Each poem is a real and necessary look into what we inherit of the world's sorrow and how we are pulled toward grace by that great middle ticker inside us all." --Ada Lim n, author of Bright Dead Things
"In Pardon My Heart, Marcus Jackson's second poetry collection, the speaker finds many kinds of love--love that is joyful, but also love that is complicated by economic hardship, race, and time." --Poets & Writers "Pardon My Heart is a lyrically complex, beautifully integrated collection that will no doubt appeal to a wide audience of readers. Jackson possesses a keen ability to document ideas of maturing love alongside a reckoning of hard-earned ideas about race in a stripped down, clear, and passionate diction that is balanced masterfully against his use of the sonnet form and related lyric modes."--Peter Covino, author of ?Cut Off the Ears of Winter and The Right Place to Jump
"Marcus's work isn't trying to follow any trends. He accomplishes a beauty through carefully constructed language that looks and sounds like conversational speech." --Anthony Frame, Editor in Chief, Glass: A Journal of Poetry "What I most admire about Marcus Jackson's Pardon My Heart is the way it explores the stupidity and sorrow of a certain idea of masculinity, and how this exploration--which necessarily requires a kind of disassembly--might allow the tenderness in." --Ross Gay, author of Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude