Michael Dickman presents an uncompromising vision of joy and devastating loss in Flies, his second collection. Flies summons the wonder and alienation of childhood through a dreamy and exuberant surrealism, drawing on the paintings of Barnett Newman and the traditional Catholic Stations of the Cross as the poems grapple with the suicide of an older brother. Dickman’s work contemplates psychic, spiritual, and physical violence, unswervingly facing abandonment and transformation to arrive at regeneration and grace.
“Hilarity transfiguring all that dread, manic overflow of powerful feeling, zero at the bone—Flies renders its desolation with singular invention and focus and figuration: the making of these poems makes them exhilarating.” —Michael Ryan, judge of the James Laughlin Award, 2010
“Michael’s poems are interior, fragmentary, and austere, often stripped down to single-word lines; they seethe with incipient violence.” —New Yorker