Dangerous Household Items
About the Book
“David Orr is an authentic iconoclast. His criticism is exuberant and original. Dr. Johnson, my critical hero, urged us to clear our mind of cant. Orr has cleared his. He will enhance the perception of his readers.” —Harold Bloom
“A poetry critic and poet himself, David Orr’s work often explores a gray area of literary professionalism and process. A columnist for the New York Times Book Review. . . . Orr shows himself to be a reader interested in cutting through noise, particularly with the realities of writing and publishing in a popular culture.” —Ploughshares
In his wry debut collection of poetry, celebrated critic David Orr ponders the dark underworld of the ordinary, as he traverses the suburban gothic landscape of modern America. Orr finds and names what’s at the core of being human: sorrow, kindness, familial love, and memory. The poems are playful, fashioned of fables, familiar objects, and the supernatural, inviting every reader to enter in.
From “The Abduction”:
. . . Later, he would wake each night screaming
In helpless confusion, but at the time
There was just the sun, the beach, the sun, the saltwater
And dark forms being kind.
Only a month
After the incident, having lost the skill
Of knowing what was real, he walked
Into headlights he had thought were his wife.
David Orr teaches at Cornell University in addition to serving as the poetry columnist for the New York Times Book Review. A native of South Carolina, he lives in Ithaca, New York.