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Whereas: Poems (Hardcover)

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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.

About the Author

Stephen Dunn is the author of nineteen poetry collections, including the Pulitzer Prize–winning Different Hours, and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the recipient of an Academy Award for Literature. His poems have appeared in The New Yorker, Atlantic, and American Poetry Review, among many other publications. A distinguished professor emeritus at Richard Stockton University, he lives in Frostburg, Maryland.

Praise For…

bold and elegant conversation with wisdom itself. . . . A complex guidebook to
contemporary life. These poems explore life’s contradictions and mysteries
while creating light from the dark spaces of death and doubt. . . . Triumphant.

Dunn takes aim at
everything, especially our search for meaning in a culture of posttruth and too
much news, some of it skewed. He does so with humor, wit, and a dose of
gravitas, grasping detail and nuance. . . A timely and necessary addition.

Incisively capturing the oddities of logic and whimsies of reason, Pulitzer Prize-winner Dunn considers with grace, humor, and gravity the superstition and sophistry embedded in everyday life.

Stephen Dunn has long known how to begin a poem so it sounds like part of a conversation, how to move the poem along by following its own curiosities, and how to deliver just enough wisdom at the end. He’s still doing it all right here, better than ever, in this fresh new collection.
— Billy Collins

Occasionally one of our best poets gets even better. In Whereas, Stephen Dunn tells the truth about lying and (perhaps) tells lies about what constitutes truth. No one else uses abstraction as affectively or as wisely. No one else uses humor with such devastating charm. Dunn negotiates the labyrinthine simplicities that deepen our lives with deft maneuverings and always surprising clarity.

— Michael Waters

There’s a deep and reliable honesty that drives these poems, a kind of courageous revelation not of old wounds and losses, but of something like the-way-things-are. That the poems manage this kind of transmission of (no other word for it) truth, and make that truth so much a delight to hear—well, that’s what Stephen Dunn has been doing all his writing life. That’s why his poems have been, and remain, indispensable.
— Robert Wrigley

Product Details
ISBN: 9780393254679
ISBN-10: 0393254674
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: February 21st, 2017
Pages: 80
Language: English

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