Stephen Dunn Local Visitations: Poems

ISBN 13: 9780393326031

Local Visitations: Poems

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9780393326031: Local Visitations: Poems
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Wise and searching new poems from the winner of the 2000 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry.

In his twelfth collection, his first since winning the Pulitzer Prize, Stephen Dunn turns his keen gaze on Sisyphus, our contemporary Everyman. Free, for the time being, from the power of the gods and the ceaseless weight of the rock, he struggles to navigate twenty-first-century America. In language by turns mordant and tender, often elegiac, Dunn illuminates the quotidian burdens of his all-too-human hero, as well as the abrasions of ambivalence and choice, finally concluding that "here / and there, though mostly here, even fate is reversible / with struggle or luck."

In a second sequence of poems, nineteenth-century novelists become "local visitors" to the author's South Jersey towns. "Chekhov in Port Republic," "Jane Austen in Egg Harbor," "Dostoyevsky in Wildwood": these inventions and others give Dunn provocative new latitudes. As in his previous books, "he balances the casual and the vivid as he plumbs the ambiguity and mystery of human relations" (New York Times Book Review).

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About the Author:

Stephen Dunn is the author of eighteen poetry collections. He received the Pulitzer Prize for Different Hours and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the recipient of an Academy Award for Literature. A Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Richard Stockton University, he lives in Frostburg, Maryland.

From Publishers Weekly:

A Pulitzer Prize-winning poet of domestic emotions and New Jersey landscapes returns to familiar spaces and themes in this comfortable and comforting (if rarely surprising) 12th book. As in previous volumes, Dunn sorts his poems into related series, all of which exemplify the plain diction and commonsense homilies for which he has been widely admired. The first sequence follows a modern-day Sisyphus, whose middle-aged troubles readers may easily match up with their own: "Sisyphus in the Suburbs," seeking Christmas presents, hopes to "walk through the unappeasable/ crowds as if some right thing/ were findable and might be bestowed." Dunn (Loosestrife, Between Angels, etc.) gathers his newest poems of marital love into a less detailed, perhaps more personal second section ("Best to have a partner whose desire matches yours"). The third and most ambitious sequence imagines a queue of "Great Nineteenth-Century Writers" in the poet's own contemporary South Jersey. These poems merge the chosen writers' favorite themes and phrases into Dunn's own quiet, demotic language: "Dickens in Pleasantville" begins "It is neither the best nor worst of times," while "Melville at Barnegat Light" "could hear sounds/ of life from distant and disappearing shores." Dunn's quiet free verse keeps matters of diction and music on deep background, hoping to focus on ready emotion instead. Here as in his previous work, he offers a plain and sometimes plaintive introspection, a panoply of lightly sketched driveways, shopping malls and seashores, a real attempt to represent his region (South Jersey) as well as a nation's careful coccooning.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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ISBN 10:  0393052001 ISBN 13:  9780393052008
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Book Description WW Norton Co, United States, 2004. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. In his twelfth collection, his first since winning the Pulitzer Prize, Stephen Dunn turns his keen gaze on Sisyphus, our contemporary Everyman. Free, for the time being, from the power of the gods and the ceaseless weight of the rock, he struggles to navigate twenty-first-century America. In language by turns mordant and tender, often elegiac, Dunn illuminates the quotidian burdens of his all-too-human hero, as well as the abrasions of ambivalence and choice, finally concluding that here / and there, though mostly here, even fate is reversible / with struggle or luck. In a second sequence of poems, nineteenth-century novelists become local visitors to the author s South Jersey towns. Chekhov in Port Republic, Jane Austen in Egg Harbor, Dostoyevsky in Wildwood : these inventions and others give Dunn provocative new latitudes. As in his previous books, he balances the casual and the vivid as he plumbs the ambiguity and mystery of human relations (New York Times Book Review). Seller Inventory # AAV9780393326031

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