By Dara Wier
Publication Date: April 2, 2013
ISBN# 9781933517674 (7x9 64pp, paperback and limited edition hardcover)
In her first new collection of poetry since 2006, Dara Wier contorts language in an attempt to define the indefinable. Her loose sonnets insist on a living language in the face of death, cycling and vibrant as the water that runs through them.
Wier’s 11th collection delights in its turnings and tangents, line to line, poem to poem.
Wier is a poet concerned with capturing the fluidity of thought and experience—and not diminishing its forward charge in doing so. Wier’s lines have always had a wild whitewater crash to them, overwhelming any vessel she pours them into.
Michael Andor Brodeur, Boston Globe
The ethics of the good, its generous, alchemical humility, is the good of Wier’s poetry. Alongside her other epithets—scintillating, hilarious, restless, impish—I’m adding Orphic. These are Orpheus poems. If one were to retell the Eurydice myth in light of Dickinson’s “Crumbling is not an instant’s Act,” You Good Thing might be the result. “For a good long time, I plan to love you . . . / You’re not going to turn around when you leave who is you.”
Michael D. Snediker, Boston Review
Wier has toyed with her poetic body to an incredible extent, and You Good Thing serves as an interactive exhibition of what it means to make poems, most importantly as a social human being.
Wesley Rothman, The Los Angeles Review
Each lineated into 14 lines, the poems masquerade as sonnets but wander far from the form. The sonnet traditionally moves thought forward to its logical conclusion, a poetics of reason. Often Wier’s sentences depart in this logical direction, as if ready to solve an abstraction like a proof, but arrive in a far more chaotic—and, strangely, coherent—place.
Eric Dean Wilson, BOMBlog
Wier does convincingly what few poets can: pinpoint in words those overwhelming moments of upheaval, obfuscation and misdirection...
Karen Meadows, The Hollins Critic
The poems are expansive and intimate, the tone is distant and tender, and the images are decontextualized and vivid. You Good Thing, like most of Wier’s work, renders the personal and the universal simultaneously, and this quality sets her work apart with the best poetry of our time...In the collection, imagination and memory converge to reveal places within places, making the familiar strange and the strange familiar.
Jordan Sanderson, Heavy Feather Review
Wier’s You Good Thing reminds us that pleasure, like a river, is dangerous, ridiculous, mysterious, takes aimlessness for its aim, and is—above all else—necessary.
Julia Anjard Maher, Colorado Review
Dara Wier is the author of numerous collections of poetry, including In the Still of the Night (forthcoming from Wave Books, 2017) You Good Thing (Wave Books, 2013), Selected Poems (Wave Books, 2009), Remnants of Hannah (Wave Books, 2006), Reverse Rapture (Verse Press, 2005, 2006 SFSU Poetry Center Book Award), Hat On a Pond (Verse Press, 2002), and Voyages in English (Carnegie Mellon, 2001). Also among her works are the limited editions (X In Fix) in Rain Taxi’s Brainstorm Series, Fly on the Wall (Oat City Press), and The Lost Epic, co-written with James Tate (Waiting for Godot Books, 1999). Her poetry has been supported by fellowships and awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and the American Poetry Review. In 2005 she held the Rubin Distinguished Chair at Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia.
Her work has appeared in American Poetry Review, Boston Review, Conduit, Denver Quarterly, The Fairytale Review, Hollins Critic, jubilat, New American Writing, slope and Volt, among other magazines.
She teaches workshops and form and theory seminars and directs the MFA program for poets and writers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and co-directs the University of Massachusetts’ Juniper Initiative for Literary Arts and Action. Each June she teaches a poetry workshop for the Juniper Summer Institute. Her editing work includes publishing limited edition chapbooks and broadsides with Factory Hollow Press, North Amherst, Massachusetts, a small independent press she co-edits with Emily Pettit and Guy Pettit. Along with James Haug and James Tate she has edited the University of Massachusetts Press Juniper Series for poetry.
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