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

Wolf Energy

Some people have wolf energy—visible

either in the jaw or the lean, rising shoulders,

a gait radiating speed. Other people

have rabbit energy. If you were sleeping

and they bit your neck, it might strike you

as ticklish. Others have bear energy—oversized,

cuddly, but liable to snarl and swipe your face

with a paw. Cat energy is first cousins

with skunk energy. My wife says my face

looks like a shark’s, but squirrel teeth

line my gums. If I chomp you,

you won’t lose an arm. My half-brother

is an owl that flew into the woods

and never came back. My one brother

is half-rhino and half-blowtorch.

My other brother is a puddle of water

evaporating in a cave. Each day

I check to make sure he’s still there. 





Literary Movements:


Anthology Years:




Humor & Satire



Literary Devices:


the repetition of the same letter or sound at the beginning of words appearing in succession


a break between words within a metrical foot


a comparison between two unrelated things through a shared characteristic


the attribution of human qualities to a non-human thing