Matthew Rohrer on Dan Brady’s book, “Strange Children”
“It’s dark but there is light at the heart of it.”
Matthew Rohrer, a poetry hero and writer of several amazing books including A Hummock in the Palookas, A Green Light, and Destroyer and Preserver, among many more, has offered an endorsement of Dan Brady’s book (out in March 2018).
I think about one of the things he says about Dan’s book—”It’s dark but there’s light at the heart of it”—in context of Rachel Zucker’s poem, “Poem,” which begins
The other day Matt Rohrer said, the next time you feel yourself going dark in a poem, just don’t, and see what happens.
(This is an amazing poem that can be read here.) I think Matt Rohrer’s suggestion, “just don’t, and see what happens” adds a depth to what he says about Dan’s book.
Maybe I sometimes wonder about the merit of blurbs (for example), but sometimes they hit just the right note, characterizing the book so aptly that they add to my own understanding of the book, or they say something that I was also trying to vocalize. That’s what Matthew Rohrer is able to do for Strange Children, which will be the next book from Publishing Genius.
Matthew Rohrer image from The Believer
“These poems are frightening and relentless but Dan Brady doesn’t just tell us, he asks us to live through these experiences. It’s intense, recurring, and pared down to only what’s necessary. The arc of grief and a resolution of grace is enacted with the fewest possible flourishes. It’s dark but there is a light at the heart of it; it reaches out to imagine the lives of others, and the reader will end up right there with him when he says ‘I have lived a thousand lives with these children and the grief and joy of each one is a blessing to me.'”