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Quality of Life

Publication Date: September 2013


In Quality of Life, his third collection, Jason Tandon brings a self-deprecating humor and youthful optimism to bear on the burgeoning responsibilities of marriage, family, and fatherhood. These are poems of quietude and restraint, poems that leap from the plainspoken to the deeply imagistic. Tandon reminds us that the trials of the everyday can test even the most generous heart and patient soul, and calls us to celebrate the tiny triumphs that life so often affords.


“On the evidence of these terrific poems, Jason Tandon wants a little peace and quiet, but must have suspected from the get-go that it’d be a long-time coming, if ever. That’s okay-in the meantime, he’s keeping himself (and us) entertained (and instructed) with his tart, funny, sorrowful renderings of life as it’s lived all over our perishable republic. Reading this wise book made me feel as if my breathing space had expanded in many basic if mysterious ways-it will enrich your oxygen too.”

-David Rivard

In Quality of Life, Tandon carves a space for the essential unknowability of moments, an unknowability that extends to the past and continues to unsettle the things we did, who we were. This book is a helpful journey to where we find ourselves, and what we have to show for it, our place in this world, this “one big ravine” that doesn’t revolve around us. These poems are a friendly, human reminder of how we drink and dream, making up the sense of it all.”

-John Gallaher

The poems in Jason Tandon’s Quality of Life meditate on loss, love, the complexities of memory, the way, perhaps, snowdrifts seen from the road recall a sheet covering the body of an old friend lost at sea. Or they speak of our need to hold onto moments of clarity, epiphany, or self-knowledge even as they slip past us: a “field of sunflowers / that have tilted their heads to the sky / beside the barn freshly painted / a candy apple red” or the moon “like a sickle’s blade” that “clatters across the lake.” These poems, so many of which exist in the sphere of the familiar-the memory of a piano teacher, a dog bounding through the grass-are acutely observed, thoughtful, occasionally whimsical, and composed with elegance, fine music, and grace. Quality of Life is a delight.”

-Kevin Prufer

About the Author

© Kishan N. Tandon

Jason Tandon

Born in Hartford, CT in 1975, Jason Tandon is the author of five books of poetry, including This Far North, The Actual WorldQuality of Life, and Give over the Heckler and Everyone Gets Hurt, winner of the St. Lawrence Book Award from Black Lawrence Press. His poems have appeared in PloughsharesPrairie SchoonerThe Southern Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, and Barrow Street, among others. He earned his B.A. and M.A. from Middlebury College, and his M.F.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Since 2008, he has taught in the Arts & Sciences Writing Program at Boston University.

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