“Could Dan Groves be the poetic love child of Heather McHugh and James Merrill? McHugh’s unstoppable puns and wordplay, enriched by Merrill’s bejeweled playfulness and tonal complexities, have inspired this wonderful poetic debut. However cerebral and flamboyantly learned he may be, this Groves is not of Academe but his own man. He has created a new poetic terrain with bravura wit. And he has made his unique music out of mouth-filling, eye-popping, and ear-ringing phrases.”
—Willard Spiegleman, author of Seven Pleasures: Essays on Ordinary Happiness
Daniel Groves presents a debut collection of tightly rhymed poems that, through adherence to form, unlock a power in language to surprise and illuminate—a power too often dormant in writing that eschews these conventions. Enchanted by the wit and distance of his canonical predecessors, Groves rhymes “Diet Pepsi” with “catalepsy” and “Guido” with “credo,” and takes this work from irony to introspection in the course of a few lines.
Framed as meditations that playfully depart from acts of photocopying, or shelving journals in a library, or interstate travel by bus, these poems represent an acerbic inner life but offer visceral satisfactions.From “Work Song”
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