Riddle Field

Derek Thomas Dew. Univ. of Nevada, $17 trade paper (64p) ISBN 978-1-948908-76-4
Dew debuts with a thought-provoking contemplation of the role of memory in shaping the present moment. In sweeping, Whitmanesque lines, the poems read as a conversation between a past and present self, or a dialogue between parts of consciousness. “I’ve hated that creek since I was three apples high. It’s incapable,” the speaker writes in response to his own description of a creek in the poem’s opening line. Dew’s innovative approach to polyvocality relies less on exposition or narration than on his choices in form. “And if the hill is still blue smoke when the snow climbs to counters, we’ll surely freeze,” his speaker warns the character who voiced the preceding, nonitalicized line. Throughout, Dew engages ambitious philosophical questions while building narrative tension, maintaining a riveting sort of mystery: “the moon outside, an unknowing.” By leaving much unsaid, the collection cultivates and sustains an aura of inventive possibility. Dew is an exciting and complex new voice in contemporary poetry. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 10/15/2020
Release date: 10/01/2020
Genre: Poetry
Book - 978-1-948908-77-1
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