Some Divine Commotion
by David Denny
Dana Gioia has described David Denny as “a poet who finds the miraculous in everyday experience.” To be sure, there are poems in this new collection that reveal the numinous with startling precision. But Some Divine Commotion also expands Denny’s poetic territory into internal and external realms not commonly explored in contemporary verse. Each of the book’s sections examines large themes—love and loss, imagination and spirituality, art and nature—in unexpected ways, ranging in style from lyrical rumination to extended narrative to pithy dialogue. By turns witty, sad, playful, and wise, these poems carry their wisdom lightly, never failing to entertain. Reading this book, we hear the voice of a versatile American poet singing his redemption songs.
POETRY / General
ISBN: 978-1-947067-18-9 (print; softcover; perfect bound)
David Denny is the author of the Shanti Arts short story collection, The Gill Man in Purgatory, as well as three previous poetry collections: Man Overboard, Fool in the Attic, and Plebeian on the Front Porch. His poems and short stories have appeared in numerous journals and magazines, including The Sun, Narrative, Catamaran, Rattle, and Parabola. He holds an M.F.A. degree from the University of Oregon and an M.A.T. from Fuller Theological Seminary. Recent awards and honors include The Thomas Merton Poetry of the Sacred Contest, The Steve Kowit Poetry Prize, The Center for Book Arts Broadside Award, an Artist Laureate Award from the Silicon Valley Arts Council, numerous Pushcart nominations, and inaugural Poet Laureate of Cupertino, California. Denny is Professor of English at De Anza College and former editor of Bottomfish magazine.
“In his fine new collection of poems, Some Divine Commotion, David Denny writes about things that matter — rats in the attic, Richard Brautigan, emotional water-boarding, Janet Leigh’s body-double — in resonant, carefully crafted language that any literate person can understand and take pleasure in. That, for me, is the best kind of poetry.”
“I love the hunger in Denny’s poems — the easy, deep talk, a Cubist Apollinaire swaggin’ down Lombard, the groovy Brouhaha and the daring — in these times of tight lines and elegant ornament. You go in, then every poem is an akimbo figure in ten directions, a xylophone Zen, Baudelaire, Godzilla and the woman in Matisse’s Fauvist eyeball. What a palette, a lush surrealist Benjamin Peret perhaps — explosive, experimental before you notice it — it leaves you painting and panting. Lovely canvases of stardom and the solar delights your soul has been craving!”
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