THE BOOKS

WHEREAS

Pulitzer Prize winner Stephen Dunn examines the difficulties of telling the truth, and the fictions with which we choose to live. Incisively capturing the oddities of our logic and the whimsies of our reason, the poems in Whereas show there is always another side to a story. With graceful rhythm and equal parts humor and seriousness, Stephen Dunn considers the superstition and sophistry embedded in everyday life: household objects that seem to turn against us, the search for meaning in the barrage of daily news, the surprising confessions between neighbors across a row of hedges. Finding beauty in the ordinary, this collection affirms the absurdity of making affirmations, allowing room for more rethinking, reflection, revision, prayer, and magic in the world.

LINES OF DEFENSE

 

“[Stephen Dunn] has taken his place among our major, indispensable poets.”

―Miami Herald

In his seventeenth collection of poetry, Pulitzer Prize winner Stephen Dunn confronts the lines we fight against and the ones we draw for ourselves. Lines of Defense poignantly captures the absurdities of modern life, expectations derailed, the lived life juxtaposed to the imagined life, and the defenses we don to make do. The poems in Lines of Defense are wry and elegiac, precisely observed and wide-reaching. The lines of defense are the lines of the verse itself, as poetry forms a stronghold against mortality. This essential volume showcases a poet writing at the height of his powers.

HERE AND NOW

“A wonderful example of the poet’s ability to satisfy readers and anticipate their thoughts.”―Elizabeth Lund, Washington Post

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. 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 Here and Now 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.

WHAT GOES ON

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Brilliant new poems and an expansive gathering from six collections by a Pulitzer Prize winner celebrated as “indispensable.” What Goes On displays the evolving style and sensibility of a major award-winning poet, and a traceable growth that has blossomed into a provocative confrontation with questions of consciousness and existence. Stephen Dunn’s poems probe life’s big questions without ever losing sight of the significance of the mundane.

EVERYTHING ELSE IN THE WORLD

"One of our indispensable poets." ―Miami Herald

In his fourteenth collection of poems, Pulitzer Prize winner Stephen Dunn reveals his concerns, ranging from meditations on salvation and time to the difficulties and pleasures of loving in this "already brutal century." In language that Gerald Stern has called "unbearably fearless and beautiful," Dunn continues to probe the elusive in the lives we live.

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© 2019 Nick Graham