DEGREES OF FIDELITY: Essays on Poetry and the Latitudes of the Personal

by Stephen Dunn

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In his first collection of essays since Walking Light, Pulitzer-Prize-winning poet Stephen Dunn opens new windows on poetry, its sources, its generations, and where it leads us. In an age of political assault on language, this is an essential book. It is at once erudite, passionate, and entirely the voice of Dunn, whose voice for decades has been so present in the currency of American verse.

"The poems to which I’m most drawn deliver the here and now of our existence while being inherently philosophical. If they wander from where they began, as they often do, I know from whence they came, and perhaps how their concealments are connected to their revelations. I want them to engage the heart and the mind simultaneously, and if they move us, it’s not necessarily to tears. This book attempts to investigate where we are, how we got there, and where we might arrive if we make the moves that point the way." --From the Introduction

Stephen Dunn is the author of over twenty books of poetry and prose, including Different Hours, winner of the 2001 Pulitzer Prize. His Loosestrife was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.  Among his many other awards are an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, The Paterson Prize for Sustained Literary Achievement, fellowships from the Guggenheim and Rockefeller Foundations, three National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, the Levinson Prize from Poetry, and the James Wright Prize from Poetry Northwest. Forthcoming from W.W. Norton in 2019 is Pagan Virtues, a book of poems. He is Distinguished Professor emeritus at Richard Stockton University, from which he holds an honorary doctorate. He lives in Frostburg, Maryland with his wife Barbara Hurd.


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