AMERICA BOUND

 

 

An Epic for Our Time

by David Radavich


                  Published by:      Plain View Press, P.O. Box 42255, Austin, TX 78704; (512) 440-7319; www.plainviewpress.net

                  Available from:    Amazon.com, Baker & Taylor, Barnes & Noble, Borders, Powell's Books. Now available on Kindle.


About the Book:

       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.

About the Author:

         David Radavich is the author of Slain Species (Court Poetry Press, London), By the Way: Poems over the Years (Buttonwood, 1998), and Greatest Hits (Pudding House, 2000), along with several poetry chapbooks.  His latest collection is Canonicals: Love’s Hours (Finishing Line, 2009).  He has also published a full-length comedy, Nevertheless . . ., several short dramas, and a wide range of poems in journals and anthologies.  His plays have been performed across the U.S., including six Off-Off-Broadway productions, and in Europe.  Radavich has given poetry readings in such far-flung locations as Egypt, Greece, Iceland, and Scotland and enjoys directing and performing in dramatic readings.  His essays, both scholarly and informal, have appeared in journals varying from American Drama to U.S. News & World Report. America Bound combines the author’s love of both poetry and drama into a larger national narrative.

Comment by Leonora Smith:

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.

Comment by Christian Knoeller:

In this richly polyphonic text, Radavich couples narrative verse with interlocking dramatic monologues to deliver a revisionist history of America since the second World War - an account across generations so inclusive as to seem Whitmanesque - encompassing personal and national identities, conscience and community.  'I hear the voices of America,' writes Radavich, and through them America Bound renders a cultural landscape altered in the wake of the Twentieth Century.  By 'listening to the voices of those who lived simply for themselves and others in the heartland of their history,' voices aching to be heard, we sense how their stories are also ours, and their questions - 'Where do we all go from here?' - the ones we must live by."

Comment by Patricia Clark:

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.

Excerpt from the Review by Karissa Scott:

"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.

Readers 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
 
 

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