Parable of Hide and Seek (Paperback)

By Chad Sweeney

Alice James Books, 9781882295821, 72pp.

Publication Date: October 12, 2010

List Price: 15.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


In this surreal expose of the human condition, Chad Sweeney transforms intangible space into a poetic playground. Poems unveil secret worlds, ecstatically reinventing archetypes for the American landscape. This book charismatically delights in the ordinary, grounding readers in urgency balanced by wonder.

About the Author

Chad Sweeney is the author of two previous books of poetry, An Architecture and Arranging the Blaze, and his co-translation of the Iranian poet H.E. Sayeh will appear next year as The Art of Stepping Through Time. He edited the City Lights Publishers anthology Days I Moved Through Ordinary Sounds and is co-editor of Parthenon West Review. His poems have appeared widely, including in Best American Poetry and Verse Daily. He teaches poetry and lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Praise For Parable of Hide and Seek

"Chad Sweeney's poems are matryoshka dolls of imagination: strangeness inside longing inside charm. Relentlessly figurative, they read as dreamscapes and translations: if the human soul has peripheral vision, these poems are what it sees. And gentleness, gentleness abounds here and makes the point of fancy to unite, to bring one thing beside another and build a home of their touch."Bob Hicok

"The poems in Parable of Hide and Seek... unveil secret worlds, ecstatically reinventing archetypes for the American landscape."BeLight

"Sweeney employs careful and lush images informed by his natural surrealist bent...Like a good parable, the poems seem to nearly deliver a message. Like a dysfunctional parable, they also meander through a world of smells like a distracted dog."The Great American Pinup

"Chad Sweeney’s Parable of Hide and Seek reads like the experience of stepping into someone else’s bizarre but magnificently imaginative dreamworld. In Sweeney’s world, deserts have doors and rats swim to the sun, calling to mind a surrealist painting. . . a mesmerizing read that takes the unexpected to a new and unchartered level."New Pages

"With relatively simple, tactile images, Sweeney offers a unique conception of perspective that breathes eccentric life and personality into the artificial world...Parable of Hide and Seek is a truly terrific gem just aching to be found."Gently Read Literature

The humility and gentle sensibility of Chad Sweeney’s poems are, judging by his reading and conversation, wholly genuine. Their surreal yet familiar landscapes pull me in, and I think they will you, too."Sabotage Magazine, Jared Randall on his favorite "Literary Discovery of the Year"

"This is the genius of Chad Sweeney's poetry. These poems only mystify so far as to draw you into them, so that the poems become a communion between speaker and reader."The Cafe' Review

"...Sweeney creates a liminal space where the real work of poetry begins...this is a book of manifold pleasures written by a poet with a deft, assured hand."Coldfront Magazine, included in "Top 30 Poetry Books of 2010"

"[M]usic divides night from day in this remarkable collection of sonically rich and imagistically arresting poems. Page after page, I found myself making little gasping sounds in response to Sweeney’s deft exercises in the field of negative space."Rattle