Dennis's 10th book, the first since his 2004 New and Selected, continues in the Pulitzer-winning poet's generous and thoughtful-though, perhaps overfamiliar-vein. Long sentences arranged into a loose, self-confident free verse of approximated pentameters celebrate the small-scale triumphs, ordinary disappointments and late-life reconciliations of the poet and the characters of his kindhearted America-"the neighbor who seems to be playing the same piece/ On her upright piano"; "Larry Fenster, owner of Fenster's Bike Repair"; "the straight-backed, white-haired woman/ Waiting for the bus in the rain." Of "Our Generation," Dennis asks and answers generalized yet heartfelt questions: "Did we work with joy? With no less joy/ Than people felt in the generations before us." The best poems take on subjects apart from his own life, each one able to set the poem apart-"A Visit to West Point," for example (in which this peace-loving poet considers the military profession), or the secular mass of Times Square on New Year's Eve. Dennis (Practical Gods) has sought to make happiness-achieved or thwarted-as fertile, and as intellectually interesting, as rage, grief or frustration have been for other poets. (Apr.)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Unknown Friendsby Carl Dennis
Carl Dennis has become one of the most important American poets writing today. Unknown Friends, his tenth book, is about separation and connection, about actual friends we can never know fully and friends never met who are summoned into existence through the efforts of an imagination that/i>/b>
From the winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the Ruth Lilly Prize
Carl Dennis has become one of the most important American poets writing today. Unknown Friends, his tenth book, is about separation and connection, about actual friends we can never know fully and friends never met who are summoned into existence through the efforts of an imagination that insists on dialogue. While accepting our ignorance as inevitable, the poems work to expand the notion of what it means to be part of a community larger than any we can comprehend, both a community given to us by history and one outside of history through which the world of experience is nurtured and sustained.
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Meet the Author
Carl Dennis is the author of nine books of poetry, including Practical Gods, winner of the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. A recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, in 2000 he was awarded the Ruth Lilly Prize from Poetry Magazine and the Modern Poetry Association for his contribution to American poetry. He teaches in the English Department at the State University of New York at Buffalo, and is a sometime member of the faculty of the MFA program in creative writing at Warren Wilson College.
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