Synopses & Reviews
In his sixteenth collection, Stephen Dunn continues to bring his imagination and intelligence to what Wallace Stevens calls "the problems of the normal," which of course pervade most of our lives. The poem "Don't Do That" opens with the lines: "It was bring-your-own if you wanted anything / hard, so I brought Johnnie Walker Red / along with some resentment I'd held in / for a few weeks." In other poems, Dunn contemplates his own mortality, echoing Yeats--"That is no country for old men / cadenced everything I said"--only to discover he's joined their ranks. In "The Writer of Nudes" his speaker is in search of the body's "grammar" but tells his models, "Don't expect to see yourself as other / than I see you." Full of grace, wit, humor, and masterful precision, the poems in attest to the contradictions we live with in the here and now. Political and metaphysical, these astonishing poems remind us of the essential human comedy of getting through each day.
"A superb new collection. . . . In it you will find the hard-boiled realist behind whom stretches a romantic shadow, in whose silhouette the poet stands, figure to ground, drink in hand, eyeing the party. . . . [Dunn] is one of the smartest poets around . . . in terms of mental footwork and the timing of movement." Cortland Review
Full of grace and masterful precision, the poems in Stephen Dunn's sixteenth book of poetry attest to the contradictions we live with in the here and now, both political and metaphysical, and the essential human comedy of getting through the day.from The House on the Hill . . . from out of the fog, a large, welcoming house would emerge made out of invention and surprise. No things without ideas you'd shout, and the doors would open, and the echoes would cascade down to the valleys and the faraway towns.
from "The House on the Hill" . . . from out of the fog a large, welcoming house would emerg made out of invention and surprise No things without ideas you'd shout and the doors would open and the echoes would cascade dow to the valleys and the faraway towns"
"A wonderful example of the poet's ability to satisfy readers and anticipate their thoughts."--Elizabeth Lund,
About the Author
Stephen Dunn is the author of seventeen poetry collections, including What Goes On: New and Selected Poems 1995-2009 and, most recently, Here and Now. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his collection Different Hours. He has also been a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and has received an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. A Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Richard Stockton College, he lives in Frostburg, Maryland, with his wife, the writer Barbara Hurd.