"Young's Bender is a book of survival and strength, of seeing even in the smallest things the heights of what we can be. That's as good a definition of contemporary poetry as any."NPR
"This book reads like a long, breathless thank you for life's seemingly random jumble of beauty, strangeness, tenderness, and joy."Los Angeles Times
"The reader's mind shoots through [Young's poems] like the steel ball in a pinball machine, dinging around, racking up points. Dean's poems are amazingly fun."BOMB
Bender gathers the abundant treasure from Dean Young's twelve volumes. Strongly influenced by Surrealism, Young's poems flash with extravagant imagery, humorous speech, sly views of the quotidian, mercurial hip-shake shifts, and exposed nerves of heartache.
From "Commencement Address":
I love you for shattering.
Someone has to. Just as someone
has to announce inadvertently
the end of grief or spring's
splurge even as the bureaucrat's
spittoon overflows. Someone has to come out
the other end of the labyrinth
saying, What's the big deal?
Someone has to spend all day staring
at the data from outer space
or separating the receipts
or changing the sheets in sour room after room.
I like it when the end of the toilet paper
is folded into a point.
I like napkins folded into swans
because I like wiping my mouth on swans
Dean Young has published twelve books of poetry, including finalists for the Pulitzer Prize and Griffin Award. He teaches at the University of Texas and lives in Austin.