Jeffrey McDaniel


Jeffrey McDaniel was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1967. He received a BA from Sarah Lawrence College and an MFA from George Mason University. He is the author of five poetry collections, including Chapel of Inadvertent Joy (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2013), The Endarkenment (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2008), and Alibi School (Manic D Press, 1995), which the poet Bill Knott called “fresh, provocative, nondoctrinaire.” According to the poet Khaled Mattawa, McDaniel’s work “chronicles the emotions that jolt us as we stare into the abyss and pulls us away when we’ve seen enough.” The recipient of a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, his poems have appeared in two volumes of Best American Poetry. He teaches at Sarah Lawrence College and lives in the Hudson Valley in New York. Source

these are the things I can do without

In the other room,

the dentist talks

about the barbecue

that didn’t happen,

the golf game

that did. In the small

room of my mouth,

another tooth

throbs in its death bed.

The other teeth

gather around:

good-bye, mister

molar, it’s been real.

In the curved room

of my ear, a Tears

for Fears song

unspools. Shout,

shout. In the room

behind my eyes,

an old woman sits

alone in a chair,

applying makeup

in the dark.





Literary Movements:


Anthology Years:



Body & Body Image

Music & Sports

Literary Devices:


an expression designed to call something to mind without mentioning it explicitly; an indirect or passing reference


conversation between two or more people as a feature of a book, play, or movie

Internal Rhyme

A rhyme involving a word in the middle of a line and another at the end of the line or in the middle of the next.


a comparison between two unrelated things through a shared characteristic


a word, object, action, character, or concept that embodies and evokes a range of additional meaning and significance.