America Bound: An Epic for Our Time combines poetry, drama, and fiction into an imaginative rendering of American history and culture since World War II. Following introductory poems offering mythic and historic perspective, the heart of the epic features 24 dramatic monologues spoken by three generations of Americans, each in his or her unique voice commenting on the world. Four stages follow the seasons from spring to winter. Many of the central characters know and interact with each other from one generation to the next in an unfolding drama of dreams pursued, challenges confronted, and sorrows lamented.
David Radavich is the author of Slain Species (Court
“ This is poetry that matters. Radavich has a dramatist’s gift of being able to evoke character with only a few words from a speaker’s mouth: these are poems that come from the tongue, and like intimate, personal speech, invite us to speak back. Though the speakers reflect social movements and economic booms and busts, they are never abstractions or simply victims, but people telling their stories of gains and losses in ways that invite compassion, respect, and fellow feeling.
This book makes me hopeful for the future of American poetics as part of our political discourse, as part of a common life that binds our diverse interests. If more poets had Radavich’s ambition - to write for a broad audience, instead of only a few; to write about the world we live in and what we owe to others - then we would see people everywhere with poems in their pockets and in their briefcases.”
“ In this richly polyphonic text, Radavich couples
narrative verse with interlocking dramatic monologues to deliver a revisionist
“ America Bound rests firmly in a tradition of dramatic lives rendered through poetry, especially Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters. David Radavich paints lovely portraits that fill an American town with rich and moving lives.”
"Radavich's poetry resonates with sincerity and reveals a truth that speaks beyond the page. It is not poetry confined to the most intellectual of circles where only the greatest artistry is appreciated, but accessible poetry of profound reflections on our changing nation . . . . America Bound grows more and more riveting as you are invested in the characters. In what plays out more like a novel or play, the characters reach through the pages with their struggles and humor.
converse with the characters as Radavich cleverly crafts overlapping stories
that place the individual into perspective with larger-scale worldly issues of
war (from World War II through the war with Iraq), feminism, the Civil Rights
movement, and AIDS. Connections between the different speakers of the
poems reveal an intimate portrait of various walks in tumultuous American life.
The characters are our neighbors, forgotten classmates, and coworkers.
Their conflicts are not aggrandized; their musings reflect our own struggles
and observations . . . . Radavich's poetry
matters and speaks to readers without pretense to show that the personal is,
indeed, political." -- Big Muddy, 2007