Radio, Radio: Poems (Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets)

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9780807126790: Radio, Radio: Poems (Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets)
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Radio, Radio, Ben Doyle's first collection, is a book about gaps: between the transmitter and the desired, unimaginable receiver; between the prehistoric insect world and our fast-food, hot-wired culture; between words and what they just might mean. They meet us in the interstices between the moment just gone and the next one, with little agenda but to thrill, refresh, discomfit, and warn.

Doyle's poems leap freely from sestina to sonnet to fragment to prose, searching for what they do not know. These are lyrics of serious intelligence -- they think carefully and deliberately but use often startling images and varied, original musics to deepen, widen, and rudder this thinking: "In the middle of every field, / obscured from the side by grass / or cornhusks, is a clearing where / she works burying swans alive / into the black earth" ("Radio, Radio").

Alternately playful, grim, realistic, surreal, tempered, associative, wise, and astonished, Radio, Radio finds an original niche in the poetry of the day, one that uses the veneer of contemporary poetics to reflect the human mind and soul that lie beneath.

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About the Author:

A native of Cuba, New York, Ben Doyle is a recent graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and his poems have appeared in the Boston Review, Tin House, Fence, and The New Republic. He currently lives and teaches in Iowa City.

From Library Journal:

"These bodies are not/ our bodies but we pull them close to stall the shudder," Doyle proclaims at the end of "The Miscarriage." And it is these words that best summarize Doyle's debut volume, winner of the prestigious Walt Whitman Award from the POETRY Society of America for a first book of POETRY. Doyle's observation is intense and often reduced to molecules, resulting in a verse that despite its occasionally surreal nature is strongest when close to home. Doyle replaces cultural references with witty, sometimes biting, and often veiled snapshots of a generic, subordinated experience: "our ankles matched/ electric fence tattoos." As this suggests, there are images straight out of the superhero comic books. And who else could write a sestina in which "met" becomes "Kismet" and "comet" or "again" becomes "Reagan?" Everything here is contemporary, with references to injection-molded plastics and a poem dedicated to the Sony Robotdog. Although uneven as a whole, this is one of the more original POETRY books of late and definitely worth reading. Rochelle Ratner, New York
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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