The Last Saturday in America
Coming March 2024!
The Last Saturday in America is set in a nation on the precipice of great change. A man in front of his television sits trapped between the way he was raised and the future he wants to see for who he is raising. He can no longer rely on what he thought he knew nor does he know what to do about it. Through examinations of suburban neighbors, bullies, gun violence, and vasectomies, Ray McManus draws in these pages a portrait of American masculinity in the face of political division, pandemic, and cultural warfare. The man McManus renders is a father, a son, a Southerner. And he is willing to burn it all down and start something new, only to see that the new start he is looking for has been with him the whole time.
"The poems in this collection are deeply invested in the rural South, interrogating ideas of masculinity and inheritance. The straightforward syntax suits the unvarnished subject matter—childhood bullies, Dale Earnhardt, the neighbor shooting snakes with his pistol. The plainspoken is elevated through McManus’s carefully tuned ear and nuanced appreciated for anaphora and sonic density. You won’t want the sun to set on The Last Saturday in America—it’s a moving, masterful work." —Beth Ann Fennelly, author of Heating & Cooling: 52 Micro-Memoirs