In Bender, Dean Young’s collection of new and selected poetry, readers are treated to an array of Young’s prolific, inimitable work. Across the years, Young’s style has stayed consistently inconsistent, reliably innovative. It is this incongruity that benefits and frees Young’s work from poetic constraints. Bender gives readers opportunity to see Young’s surreal word play and witness Young, through the course of his career, become an iconoclastic force in American poetry.
“Young’s Bender is a book of survival and strength, of seeing even in the smallest things the heights of what we can be. That’s as good a definition of contemporary poetry as any.” —NPR
“This book reads like a long, breathless thank you for life’s seemingly random jumble of beauty, strangeness, tenderness, and joy.” —Los Angeles Times
“The reader’s mind shoots through [Young’s poems] like the steel ball in a pinball machine, dinging around, racking up points. Dean’s poems are amazingly fun.” —BOMB
“Dean Young’s Bender: New & Selected Poems provides a direct experience with all the stunning possibilities of language at its most sublime.” —The Journal
“After 10 books over 20-odd years, Young has become one of our most imitated poets: his jocular jumps from topic to topic, debts to Surrealist dream-logic, mixture of postmodern oddity, stand-up comedy and weighty pathos land his work somewhere between John Ashbery (to whom Young owes much) and Billy Collins (whose affability Young shares).” —Publishers Weekly
“Young revitalizes the lyric by reminding us that Art must never be less explosive and majestic and joyous than Life, lest it not only be no temporary substitute for Life but also no fitting representation of (or challenge to) life’s regularities and irregularities. Bender will make you laugh, reflect, and marvel at how the contrary impulses and instantiations of both Life and Art can so readily be distilled in the sensibilities of a single man, or—in the case of Bender—a single book.” —Huffington Post
“Dean Young is one of the finest poets to come through Seattle in several years, with work that speaks right down into the gullet of the contemporary.” —The Stranger