A family recipe, a childhood memory, a Depression-era handout
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Richard McCann was the author of Mother of Sorrows, a collection of linked stories, and Ghost Letters, a poetry collection. His fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry were published in The Atlantic, Ms., Esquire, and Tin House, and he was the coeditor of Things Shaped in Passing: More “Poets for Life” Writing from the AIDS Pandemic. He lived in Washington, D.C., and died in January 2021.
When I was young, I lived for what I thought of as “lyrical moments,” when the details of life were suddenly heightened and approached the transcendent. . . . Of course, if you live long enough, you start thinking more and more not about the lyrical but rather about time. . . . I am living to stay alive.