Sudden Dog

Overview


Honest and vulnerable, Sudden Dog's speaker ardently engages the self as drunken romantic, or even as domesticated animal in the loud realm of the real. We follow Matthew Pennock because he convinces us of his singular and lyrical voice, because he shows us how to be reckless yet stoic, dignified yet sardonic, quick to joke yet on the verge of tears.
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Overview


Honest and vulnerable, Sudden Dog's speaker ardently engages the self as drunken romantic, or even as domesticated animal in the loud realm of the real. We follow Matthew Pennock because he convinces us of his singular and lyrical voice, because he shows us how to be reckless yet stoic, dignified yet sardonic, quick to joke yet on the verge of tears.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“[Pennock's] images are fierce, exact, and unsentimental, unburdened by ornament or exaggeration and often fashioned with dark humor. . . [His] poetry demonstrates that the pursuit of meaning in a cruel, absurd world is a powerful act of faith.” —Library Journal

“Pennock’s poems exemplify Hugh Kenner’s dictum that ‘idiosyncrasy of language derives from attention.’ Here, Pennock proves that language can bridge the gap between cerebration and sensation. The focus of his lens shifts effortlessly from extreme close-up (‘the fractal / geometry of a seahorse tail’) to macrocosm (‘a numinous sphere / of concentric circles,’) and revels in the temptations of each perspective. ‘[L]ike a fishbowl / on a rocking chair,’ this marvelous debut collection overflows with vertigo, brinksmanship, gravity, and pure pleasure.” —Monica Youn

“An array of marginalized, criminal, ashamed, hurt, and unwashed figures—dogs, hyenas, coyotes, Hephaestus, insomniacs, alcoholics, spurned lovers—stalk Pennock’s book, hell-bent on their anti-heroic journey. Part ghost-town carnival mid-way, replete with jokes and rope tricks, part Greek tragedy, part quotidian plumbing and domestic mire, part ardent lyricism and hope, Sudden Dog balances its cynicism with authentic, fully human dignity.” —Lisa Russ Spaar

“‘It’s only America,’ writes Matthew Pennock. ‘We watch it unravel like a fourth act without direction.’ And so in Pennock’s fine first collection, we find a country of war and surveillance, an economy of boom and collapse and a consciousness built of fragments assembled, admired, broken again. Sudden Dog is a troubling, moving and memorable book, that returns—strangely and via estrangement—to love.” —Mark Wunderlich

Library Journal
In his first book, Pennock establishes himself as a serious voice, someone with the skills and the talent to write memorable and highly imaginative poems. With each new poem, poets aim to give us the joy of a new world opening up to display its fresh shapes, and Pennock does so with great success. His images are fierce, exact, and unsentimental, unburdened by ornament or exaggeration and often fashioned with dark humor: "Miles away, hunters imitate ducks/ in quiet wetlands/ then a gunshot." Addressing peace, war, and human fragility in a world on the verge of being hijacked by absolute ideologies, Pennock treats each poem like a theatrical stage in which different voices interweave to highlight a crisis. VERDICT Pennock's poetry demonstrates that the pursuit of meaning in a cruel, absurd world is a powerful act of faith. Recommended for all readers.—Sadiq Alkoriji, South Regional Lib., Broward Cty., FL
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781882295920
  • Publisher: Alice James Books
  • Publication date: 5/15/2012
  • Pages: 80
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Matthew Pennock is a graduate of the Undergraduate Poetry writing program at the University of Virginia and received his MFA from Columbia University. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in such literary journals as Western Humanities Review, LIT, Denver Quarterly, and New York Quarterly. He lives in Manhattan, New York. He teaches at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and works at Yeshiva University.

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