Synopses & Reviews
A searing collection of poems about America's loss of innocence from the National Book Award--winning author of Vice. IN POEMS THAT TRAVEL from the horrific flight of a World War II pilot to the World Trade Center attack, from the death of JFK Jr. to the poet's own bastard birth. Ai conjures purity as a distant memory and the knowledge of evil as an "infinite dark night."
"Ai is the queen of poetic monologues. Her new collection of unsparing, often headline-inspired recitations...presents her most masterfully unnerving works to date....Explicit, audacious, and empathic, Ai's cleansing soliloquies give voice to pain both personal and communal." Donna Seaman, Booklist
"[S]triking, violent or baroquely sexual life stories fuel this seventh volume of verse from Ai....After six books of painful monologues, some readers may find her speakers' language limited, or their situations redundant; many, however, will gravitate to the undoubtedly powerful personae Ai creates..." Publishers Weekly
"Dread has the characteristic moral strength that makes Ai a necessary poet....We feel in this book, as perhaps never before in Ai's work, the presence of the writer and her anguished condition....One can only feel grief for Ai that the world offers her so much subject matter, but that she has had the courage to confront it again and again is astonishing." Vijay Seshadri, The New York Times Book Review
About the Author
Ai's first book, Cruelty, received critical acclaim when it was published in 1973. Her second book, Killing Floor, was the 1978 Lamont Poetry Selection of the Academy of American Poets. Her next book, Sin (1987), won an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation and was followed by Fate in 1991. In 1999 Vice was the winner of the National Book Award for Poetry. Ai is a native of the American Southwest and lives in Tucson, Arizona. In the year 2002-2003 she held the Mitte Chair in Creative Writing at Southwest Texas State University.