Donnelle McGee is the author of Shine (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2012). He earned his MFA from Goddard College. He is a faculty member at Mission College in Santa Clara, California.
His work has appeared in Controlled Burn, Colere, Haight Ashbury Literary Journal, Home Planet News, Iodine Poetry Journal, Permafrost, River Oak Review, The Spoon River Poetry Review, and Willard & Maple, among others. His work has also been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.
“I watch my brother vibe in our room . . . and I wonder about his fate,” Donnelle McGee writes in “Long Before the Bullet Burned into his Head,” and I am reminded of the pain and beauty of James Baldwin’s “Sonny’s Blues,” and the quest of its nameless narrator to find his brother, too, lost in a haze of drugs and jazz. Through these poems “screaming/for the burning/feelings of expression,” McGee’s search in Naked is for his “muh” and father as well, and for his own sexual identity. Perhaps one day, as McGee writes in “Dinosaurs,” his own son“will hold this book in his hands . . . and discover . . . How his daddy excavated himself from the muck.” With these bare and searing poems, he surely has.
–Bruce Guernsey (former editor, The Spoon River Poetry Review and author of From Rain: Poems, 1970-2010)