The Actual World

Publication Date: August 2019


Here is spiritual clarity and acute observation fused with the enigmatic, eclectic, and occasionally surreal. The poems in The Actual World are deeply felt, sometimes funny, often wise, and always capable of reminding us that, as Oscar Wilde said, ‘the true mystery of the world is the visible.’

-Katrina Vandenberg

Together the short lyrics of Jason Tandon’s The Actual World intone an aching, celebratory song of the everyday. The fabric of the poems-of rocks and tonics and bathroom tiles, frogspawn, eyelashes, pots of sage-is shot through with strands of dream and loss and imagination that illuminate and intensify everything around them. A meditative and stirring collection.

-Maggie Dietz

In poem after poem, Jason Tandon discovers just how mysteriously connected unlike things can become in their transport from the literal to the figurative. These quotidian reports resonate as lyrical meditations on the ironic dramas of daily life in a poetic calculus of luminous details, hard facts, compassionate witness, and original conceits. I am particularly struck by how remarkably little ‘irritable reaching’ emanates from each poem. Clearly, Tandon has disciplined himself to write as he lives and live as he writes.

-Chard deNiord

Jason Tandon’s strong lines are at home in the senses, but also keyed to reflective solitude. His pacing is deft and catches the ‘double-take’ surprise of the important moments.

-Sven Birkerts

If you’d like to know how to hold the wide world in your heart, this book is a beginning. Jason Tandon does not offer broad brushstrokes to explain our days, but sharply cut lyrics. I love his sensibility. I love his spirit.

-Richard Jones

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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