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ISBN: 978-1-62557-928-7
Categories Non Fiction

Not Alone in My Dancing: Essays and Reviews

Publication Date: February 2016


From the Introduction:

Conversation about poetry enacts the intersubjective play that poems ideally bring, modeling how people should interact.  Thus poetry, with its improvisations arising from form-and by extension, culture-is inherently, if not manifestly, moral.  Talk about poetry is an image of the best kind of human life:  aware, interested, careful, passionate, generous.



“Brilliant and engaging, David Rigsbee’s reviews and essays bespeak how far his reach extends into the deep well of intelligence. He writes with a generosity and human sensibility that illuminate his subjects for the rest of us. Easily conversant in the languages of philosophy, religion, science, mathematics, art and the poetic tradition, he draws on all of them-the result is writing with a strong aesthetic conscience, with heart and wit.”

-Ginger Murchison, Editor-in-Chief, The Cortland Review

Lively, engaging, wonderfully readable-David Rigsbee’s collection of reviews and appreciations nimbly tracks the quicksilver turns and sudden illuminations of contemporary poetry. To the poetry’s ‘sumptuous attention,’ in his phrase, he brings his own sumptuous attention, lighting up the aesthetic skills and philosophical depths of the works at hand. With his remarkable combination of rhetorical panache and hard-nosed, nuts-and-bolts savvy, Rigsbee helps us examine and probe and fall in love with poems over and over again.”

-Jahan Ramazani, Co-Editor, The Norton Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Poetry

Rigsbee brings the poet’s tool of metaphor to bear in a dazzling cascade of frameworks that allow us to appreciate poets we know and poets we’ve never met. As a critic informed by contemporary philosophy, he also offers a suggestive precision and focus that moves poetry closer to metaphysics. Hegel is here, at least in a joke, and so is Kierkegaard, and there is Rigsbee, drolly juggling it all, never taking himself too seriously but never dropping the ball either. The result is a sequence of reviews that builds a working model of how poetry lives in one acute sensibility, a model that teaches by example how poetry might live in all of us.”

-Rodger Kamenetz, author of To Die Next To You and The Lowercase Jew

About the Author

David Rigsbee

David Rigsbee is the author of 23 books and chapbooks, including twelve previous full-length collections of poems.  In addition, he has also published critical works on Carolyn Kizer and Joseph Brodsky, whom he also translated.  He has co-edited two anthologies, including Invited Guest:  An Anthology of Twentieth Century Southern Poetry, a “notable book” selection of the American Library Association and the American Association of University Professors. His work has appeared in AGNIThe American Poetry Review, The Georgia Review, The Iowa Review, The New Yorker, The Iowa Review, The Ohio Review, Poetry, Prairie Schooner, The Sewanee Review, The Southern Review, and many others.  He has been recipient of two creative writing fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as a NEH summer fellowship to the American Academy in Rome. His other awards include The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown fellowship, The Virginia Commission on the Arts literary fellowship, The Djerassi Foundation and Jentel Foundation residencies, and an Award from the Academy of American Poets.  Winner of a Pushcart Prize, the Vachel Lindsay Poetry Award and the Pound Prize, he was also 2010 winner of the Sam Ragan Award for contribution to the arts in North Carolina. His most recent books are MAGA Sonnets of Donald Trump (2021) and a translation of Dante’s Paradiso (2023).

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