"By writing honestly about the difficulties of self-representation, Rader represents himself as a writer who cares deeply about his audience and his craft." -- ZYZZYVA
"Rader's poetry asks how to be an artist in a nation founded on and still struggling with the demand for representation and what poetry as a medium means in an era of representational sprawl." -- Jacket
Wikipedia articles are never finalized.Read more...
"By writing honestly about the difficulties of self-representation, Rader represents himself as a writer who cares deeply about his audience and his craft." --ZYZZYVA
"Rader's poetry asks how to be an artist in a nation founded on and still struggling with the demand for representation and what poetry as a medium means in an era of representational sprawl." --Jacket
Wikipedia articles are never finalized. In Dean Rader's energized and inventive new book, the poet considers identity of self and society as a Wikipedia page--sculpted and transformed by the ever-present push and pull of politics, culture, and unseen forces. And, in the case of Rader, how identity can be affected by the likes of Paul Klee's paintings and the characters from the children's stories about Frog and Toad. Rader's cagey voice is full of humor and inquiry, warmly inviting readers to fully participate in the creation.
From How We Survive: A Tryptich:
This afternoon I took a nap
wearing a costume that looks
just like me. Inside it I felt like
another person who happened
to know so many things about me,
like my preference for almonds over
cashews, how sometimes, when
I am in a strange room, I imagine
hopping from one piece of
furniture to the next . . .
Born in Oklahoma, Dean Rader has published in the fields of poetry, American Indian studies, and popular culture. He is a professor of English at the University of San Francisco, and writes regularly on literature and politics for The San Francisco Chronicle.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2017-01-16
- Reviewer: Staff
Rader (Works & Days) samples and remixes with aplomb, combining references to everything from Paul Klee to al-Qaeda to the Sonic Drive-In in a second collection that is as rich in content and broad in scope as the eponymous online encyclopedia. Frog Considers Slipping Toad Pop Rocks, for example, begins in absurdity but ends in profundity: Is there a better way to show/ devotion than to help someone burst from within? Equally impressive is Raders understated mastery of form: the collection includes a ghazal, a villanelle, sonnets, and haiku, not to mention numerous metapoetic inventions, as in the poem called Democracy or Poem in Which Readers Select Their Favorite Last Lines. Such ranginess can, at times, slip into shagginessnot every poem here earns its place. The peaks of his varied terrain are those with the most immediate stakes, where his generous personality meets political urgency, as in his series of American allegories, which interrogate whiteness through the 68 Olympics and use Hieronymus Bosch to think about poverty. This is for daybreak/ and backbreak, for dreams, and for darkness, Rader writes in America, I Do Not Call Your Name Without Hope, and, indeed, few poets capture the contradictions of our national life with as much sensitivity or keenness. (Feb.)