I’m taking a break from my literary heroes series this week, simply because I’ve been defeated by one of my attempted posts. The poetry world (and the world at large) recently suffered a tremendous loss when Jack McCarthy passed away. Jack was an immensely influential force in the poetry community and a good friend to my home venue, Slam Free or Die. I’m grateful for his talent and his kindness, and I really wanted to write a literary heroes post devoted to him. I tried for weeks, but everything I wrote was crap. After several failed efforts, I conceded defeat. I decided to leave the memorializing to those who are doing it far more eloquently. The best I have to offer right now is my memory of the caption on Jack’s flyer for his first feature at Slam Free or Die. It read, “In the world of slam poetry, he’s a rock star.” He truly was.