Totem: America

by Debra Kang Dean


"These poems remind me of the value--the necessity--of slow, deep, deliberate, looking. Looking that happens with beautiful and precise music, with expertly crafted images, with story and association. They remind me, too, that this kind of looking is also often called reflection. Because in looking, we can be illuminated." -- Ross Gay




Debra Kang Dean has published three previous collections of poetry: Back to Back (NCWN, 1997), which won the Harperprints Poetry Chapbook Competition, judged by Ruth Stone; News of Home (BOA, 1998), which was co-winner of the New England Poetry Club’s Sheila Margaret Motton Award, and Precipitates (BOA, 2003). Her work has appeared in many journals and a number of anthologies, including The Best American Poetry 1999, The New American Poets: A Bread Loaf Anthology, Urban Nature: Poems about Wildlife in the City, and Yobo: Korean American Writing in Hawai‘i. She is on the faculty of the Spalding University brief-residency Master of Fine Arts in Writing Program, teaches online through the UCLA Extension School’s Writers’ Program, and is a contributing editor for Tar River Poetry.