Dear Reader

SKU: 978-1-60235-280-3

Bruce Bond

Free Verse Editions
Edited by Jon Thompson

Information and Pricing
978-1-60235-280-3 (!$14, paperback); 978-1-60235-281-0 ($12, Adobe eBook on CD). 66 pages.

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What People Are Saying

Dear Reader is that essential intimate epistle that comes to us in an hour of great need. It offers no answers but rather reminds us of our fundamental questions. Meticulous and measured, richly working a system of resonant recurring tropes, this sequence of sonnets give us the voice of one particular sensibility—in turns tender, earnest, honest, intelligent, witty, and wry—as it reaches out across a divide it knows cannot be crossed by language and reason alone. In a time when we confront daily the frenetic, desensitizing maelstrom of political rhetoric and a ubiquitous flood of mass media, Bruce Bond reminds us in Dear Reader of the quiet but urgent philosophical and spiritual inquiries, sometimes monstrous and animal, that define and affirm our humanity. —Kathleen Graber

Bruce Bond's powerful book-length poem Dear Reader arrives with the "shush of oceans, page after page," buoying forward a meditation on how we read and how we are read by others. Each reader is a choir, a city, a book "the world leafs through." Bond reckons with "inner lives / so enormous I could barely see them," chronicling the longing, cruelty, and generosity those encounters elicit. And he recognizes how one's own inner life casts a ghost-face "across the glass between us." Composed of fifty blank-verse sonnets, the book is stunning in its range and quickness, urgent and penetrating in confronting the "call of freedoms other than our own" that remain achingly near and impossibly far away. —Corey Marks


In his single-poem sequence, Dear Reader, Bruce Bond explores the metaphysics of reading as central to the way we negotiate a world—the evasions of our gods and monsters; our Los Angeles in flames; the daily chatter of our small, sweet, and philosophical beasts. In light of an imagined listener and the world taken as a whole, Bond sees the summons of the self in the other, and in the way the other in the self informs our sacrifices and reckoning, our speechless hesitations, our jokes and our rituals of loss. Every moment of personal and political life, interpretation holds the page of the human face, not far but far enough, and all the while, beneath our gaze, the subtext that is no text at all, where the old argument between universals and particulars breaks down, exhausted, and the real in the imagined is, by necessity, renewed.

About the Author

BRUCE BOND is the author of twenty books including, most recently, Immanent Distance: Poetry and the Metaphysics of the Near at Hand (U of MI, 2015), Black Anthem (Tampa Review Prize, U of Tampa, 2016), Gold Bee (Helen C. Smith Award, Crab Orchard Award, Southern Illinois University Press, 2016), Sacrum (Four Way Books, 2017), and Blackout Starlight: New and Selected Poems 1997-2015 (L. E. Phillabaum Award, LSU, 2017). Four books are forthcoming. Presently he is a Regents Professor of English at University of North Texas.

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