Synopses & Reviews
Radio, Radio, Ben Doyle's first collection, is a book about gaps: between the transmitter and the desired, unimaginable receiver; between the prehistoric insect world and our fast-food, hot-wired culture; between words and what they just might mean. They meet us in the interstices between the moment just gone and the next one, with little agenda but to thrill, refresh, discomfit, and warn.
Doyle's poems leap freely from sestina to sonnet to fragment to prose, searching for what they do not know. These are lyrics of serious intelligence -- they think carefully and deliberately but use often startling images and varied, original musics to deepen, widen, and rudder this thinking: "In the middle of every field, / obscured from the side by grass / or cornhusks, is a clearing where / she works burying swans alive / into the black earth" ("Radio, Radio").
Alternately playful, grim, realistic, surreal, tempered, associative, wise, and astonished, Radio, Radio finds an original niche in the poetry of the day, one that uses the veneer of contemporary poetics to reflect the human mind and soul that lie beneath.