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In language spare and subtle as a Zen painting, Andrew Dugan deftly limns the contours of obsession, and the vision that emerges from his attention — from tracking dreamlike chimeras, wondering and weighing self-worth all the way, wanting and not wanting to escape — is deep and broad and flashing with insight.

                       

Richard Hoffman, author of Half the House and Noon Until Night

Like Blake’s proverbial Tyger, the Hound that stalks through the poems of A.R. Dugan’s Wanted: Comedy, Addicts also burns in one of “the forests of the night.” In this case, the forest is the wilds of addiction with all of its fearful and bewildering asymmetries. Dugan’s book is a harrowing and moving performance.

 

Daniel Tobin, author of Blood Labors

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ISBN: 978-1-952869-48-8

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Few first collections contain such range: from the intensely personal to the objectively scientific to the imaginatively speculative. Call/Response is wise even as it pokes fun at wisdom. The speaker has suffered and yet he mocks his suffering. The book is driven by joy, a genuine embracing of the world’s mechanisms and motions, whether it be an oil well’s piston, or a father’s affectionate gesture frozen in time. The people, places and things of this world have called to AR Dugan, and this is his brilliant response.

 

John Skoyles, author of Suddenly It’s Evening: Selected Poems

To read AR Dugan's Call/Response is to experience a poet fashioning, in poem after poem, the precise instrument he needs for the particular inquiry he is making. This acute attentiveness to language, to its movements and motives, its potential to mislead us, results in a poetry that asks honest and complex questions. Ask: How do you feel? / Say: I remember. Ask: Are we still thinking? Say: Our old self / and this new one, / imagine. The responses to Dugan's calls are always made of memory and imagination; therein lies their honesty because they are all we ever have with which to answer, and their beauty because such questioning lifts us from habit, wakes us, delights us, restores us to wonder.

 

Richard Hoffman, author of Half the House and Noon Until Night 

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