Burn and Dodge (Pitt Poetry Series)
WINNER OF THE 2007 DONALD HALL PRIZE IN POETRY
Selected by Bob Hicok
Burn and Dodge is part serious/part serious play and opens with a frank and occasionally antic exploration of contemporary vices, such as Guilt, Envy, and Regret. Some poems “dodge” such preoccupations by playing with a nonce form called sonnet/ghazal. The collection contains a sequence of poems called “Current Events,” based on newspaper stories. that is also a playful meditation on the nature of the interrogative pronouns (Who, What, Where, When . . . ) as well as another series of homophonic sonnets called “Clare-Hewn,” which are aural “translations” of John Clare.
Praise For Burn and Dodge (Pitt Poetry Series)…
“Exceedingly fine. . . . I was surprised and delighted by Dolin’s language play and the complexity of her ideas. I experienced this book as a game for the brain. I look forward to reading more of Dolin.”
—The Feminist Review
“If you’re looking for a book of poems that runs the spectrum of poetic modes, you’ll find much to love in ‘Burn & Dodge.’ These poems display a vast grasp and versatility of form, moving deftly among both traditional and experimental poetic modes, yet remaining cohesive throughout.”
—Fiction Writers Review
"Speaking plainly, 'Burn and Dodge' is large, and large. The poetry is not only steeped in tradition; it resonates with the demands of form and 'topoi' and thrilling poetic avatars everywhere you look."
“<I>Burn and Dodge</I> is an apt title for this book. Dolin's poems adroitly move in and out of shadow, shed light, contrast or blend as the context demands. The need to measure is strong in these poems, to examine how we live within the constraints of our emotions and how they get the better of us. Her language is lithe and motored, her meanings channeled by her formal devotions, without ever being reduced to mere accoutrements of form. She writes at the edge of compression, with such pop to her lines that I'm reminded of Auden's definition of poetry-'memorable speech.'”
“Sharon Dolin dons her seven-league boots and leaps confidently over our small fenced-in territories (formalism, L-A-N-G-U-A-G-E, blahblahblah), picking from these gardens as she chooses, and devising wily new recipes of her own.”
“Sharon Dolin moves between tradition and innovation with dazzling agility, speed, and grace. 'By fire. By stammering. Stoning. By water.' Her poems hook us with their candor and wit. While many are meditations on guilt, regret, and doubt, this work has an innate optimism-a restorative quality-that encourages us to 'lust for lust, hope for / hoping' and 'awaken each day, wanting / to want.'”
University of Pittsburgh Press, 9780822960058, 80pp.
Publication Date: October 21, 2008