Solar Perplexus

Dean Young

In Solar Perplexus, Dean Young uses the surreal as the thread which weaves in and out of complications of existence. The result is a textured, honest work that grapples with what it means to love, lose, and hang in the afterward. Suddenly the boundaries of our everyday are shaken—and yet instead of being thrown off balance, our understanding is cracked open. Young holds us between un/reality, tracing the circle of life and death, and exposing the true closeness between extremes. It is this true intimacy that both unsettles and comforts. Solar Perplexus turns identity on its head as it questions self (against) control, with each eerily familiar moment of humor punctuated with an inevitable doubt.

Hardcover $22.00 list price

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Paperback: $16.00 list price

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ISBN: 9781556595721

Format: Hardcover

About the Author

Poet Dean Young was born in Columbia, Pennsylvania, and received his MFA from Indiana University. Recognized as one of the most energetic, influential poets writing today, his numerous collections of poetry include Strike Anywhere (1995), winner of the Colorado Prize for Poetry; Skid (2002), finalist for the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize; Elegy on Toy Piano (2005), finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; Primitive Mentor (2008), shortlisted for the International Griffin Poetry Prize; Bender: New and Selected Poems (2012); Shock by Shock (2015); and Solar Perplexus (2019). He has also written a book on poetics, The Art …

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“Young has always stood out for his sharp humor, boundless poetic energy, and sheer readability. If adventurous poetry can sometimes feel like a tenuous tightrope walk, Young’s poems feel more like zip lines.” ―Boston Globe

Solar Perplexus is a series of beautiful movements, a poet spinning like a dervish in an enclosed space—no poem longer than two pages—in which we see beautiful fragments quite clearly just before they blur into ‘the world of ten thousand things.’ It’s a book of intimate monologues that combine Federico Lorca’s oneiric longing with Tony Hoagland’s giggling tenderness.” —Adroit Journal

“No matter how surreal the images Young conjures are, or how unexpected their associations, they are always rooted to an emotional truth, so that in his poetry we recognize both the scattered external world around us, and our equally discordant internal lives.” —Rain Taxi

“This book reads like a long, breathless thank-you for life’s seemingly random jumble of beauty, strangeness, tenderness and joy.” ―Los Angeles Times

“Young has mastered his own style and way of thinking in poems. Only a rare poet can make a reader simultaneously cry and laugh this way.” ―Publishers Weekly

“Young’s amiable Dadaism kindly and gently shows us the desperation and oblivion visible in good poetry. For all his comedic effects, there’s some serious work being done here. Young’s work withstands and encourages such serious treatment.” ―Boston Review

“Mr. Young knows that to be truly reverent, the poet needs to be irreverent… But for all his humor and linguistic jazz, Mr. Young doesn’t shun the big questions.” ―New York Times

“The poems always seem to be flying away―from easy sense making, from themselves, from us. It’s almost as if they are birds. And, as birds, most of them soar well above the seed-pecked fields of contemporary poetry.” ―Coldfront