Synopses & Reviews
In his twelfth collection, his first since winning the Pulitzer Prize, Stephen Dunn turns his keen gaze on Sisyphus, our contemporary Everyman. Free, for the time being, from the power of the gods and the ceaseless weight of the rock, he struggles to navigate twenty-first-century America. In language by turns mordant and tender, often elegiac, Dunn illuminates the quotidian burdens of his all-too-human hero, as well as the abrasions of ambivalence and choice, finally concluding that "here / and there, though mostly here, even fate is reversible / with struggle or luck." In a second sequence of poems, nineteenth-century novelists become "local visitors" to the author's South Jersey towns. "Chekhov in Port Republic," "Jane Austen in Egg Harbor," "Dostoyevsky in Wildwood": these inventions and others give Dunn provocative new latitudes. As in his previous books, "he balances the casual and the vivid as he plumbs the ambiguity and mystery of human relations" ().
IN THE FIRST SEQUENCE OF POEMS, an all-too-human Sisyphus struggles to navigate twenty-first-century America. Later, nineteenth-century novelists become "local visitors" to the author's South Jersey towns.
Wise and searching new poems from the winner of the 2000 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry.
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.