Synopses & Reviews
Dick Allen takes what we thought we knew for sure about the world and turns it inside out the clichés, the rules of thumb, the assumptions we gloss over and take for granted. We see the objects and events of everyday life in renewed, suddenly vivid terms, so that the songs, the kisses, the summers, the promises and lies, and the people all that we've lost and keep losing begin to shine anew under Allen's elegiac and celebratory attention. The poems in The Day Before are, as always in Allen's work, passionate chronicles of contemporary America in transition to the new millennium, marked by the ebullience of high craft and formal virtuosity. But these new poems, a unique hybrid of lyric-narratives, are remarkable for their added, personal gravity, their burnish of hard-won wisdom. And the miracle is how, in the face of our irrevocable losses as nation, species, and individuals, Allen's poems come down on the side of life and joy. "Some years I've/Barely survived;//Others, I climbed around and shouted in,/Doing my best to live a praising life."
Praise for Ode to the Cold War: Poems New and Selected
"This wide-ranging collection from a 30-year career shows Allen's poetry developing from a free-wheeling free verse to the employment of formal structure. Allen's work ranges with ease from astronomy to politics to domestic situations; his poetry captures great swatches of real and imagined experience in nimble style."
"No matter how tactile and specific he is, Allen always retains a sense of the greater world. He writes about nature as an unceasingly active force, and he tracks the ripple effects of defining historical events from wars to the invention of the airplane, as though they were weather systems....[H]is pristine poems flow like timelines, drawing unexpected connections between happenings both major and minor, and observations both subtle and life changing."
"Allen parlays memory, perception, and linguistic dexterity into a definitive style evolved over nearly thirty years of arduous making. By turns ironic and acerbic, elliptical and intricately structured, his poems deftly exploit the notion of a retrievable past bodied forth in vivid, memorable language."
Floyd Collins, West Branch
A stunning follow-up to Allen's award-winning New and Selected. Accessible and profound.
"A stunning follow-up to Allen’s award-winning New and Selected. Accessible and profound. "No matter how tactile and specific he is, Allen always retains a sense of the greater world. . . . [H]is pristine poems flow like timelines, drawing unexpected connections between happenings both major and minor, and observations both subtle and life changing."—Booklist
Dick Allen has received the Robert Frost Prize for Poetry and The Hart Crane Poetry Prize. His books include Ode to the Cold War, Flight and Pursuit, Overnight in the Guest House of the Mystic, Regions With No Proper Names, and Anon and Various Time Machine Poems. He recently retired from his position as Charles A. Dana Endowed Chair Professor at the University of Bridgeport and lives in Trumbull, Connecticut.
Newsletter and catalog mailed to entire Sarabande database; 2,000 brochures and 1,000 postcards mailed to MFA programs, bookstores, libraries, and Allen's personal contacts; Author tour in NYC, Washington, D.C.; Connecticut and surrounding northeast area
About the Author
Dick Allen has received poetry writing fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ingram Merrill Foundation, as well as the Robert Frost Prize for Poetry and The Hart Crane Poetry Prize. His books include The Day Before: New Poems (Sarabande Books, 2003), Ode to the Cold War: Poems New and Selected (Sarabande, 1997), Flight and Pursuit, Overnight in the Guest House of the Mystic (Louisiana State University Press), Regions With No Proper Names (St. Martin's Press), and Anon and Various Time Machine Poems (Dell). His poems have been selected for The Best American Poetry volumes of 1991, 1994, 1998, and 1999. They appear in many of America's leading journals, including Poetry, The Atlantic Monthly, The New Republic, The New Yorker, The Hudson Review, The Sewanee Review, The Massachusetts Review, The American Poetry Review, The Yale Review, The Kenyon Review, Boulevard, The Gettysburg Review, among others. He recently retired from his position as Charles A. Dana Endowed Chair Professor at the University of Bridgeport.