"The poetry of Stephen Dunn helps make the landscape of
all of our lives more livable -- quietly, unobtrusively, he has taken
his place among our major, indispensable poets."
"To read a few lines of a Stephen Dunn poem is to feel suddenly
in touch with the way things are, and the way we really feel about them."
"Stephen Dunn writes of the 'mysterious world of women/and
men, of momentary/common agreement and wild misunderstanding.' He makes
extraordinary poems of ordinary lives, his poetry conscious that it cannot
save the lives about which it writes. The insignificant, in his anecdotes,
becomes significant; as he sketches his 'landscape at the end of the century,'
things which are normally concealed, even in intimacy, begin to appear
and grow perceptible -- the obsessions, hopes, and despairs of the secret
life in everyman. In spare, plain-spoken poems he utters the silence in
him which prompts his offered speech."
"The art lies in hiding the art, Horace tells us, and Stephen
Dunn has proven himself a master of concealment. His honesty would not
be so forceful were it not for his discrete formality; his poems would
not be so strikingly naked were they not so carefully dressed."
"If it is wisdom that Stephen Dunn's poems are about...
then wisdom is something a little different from we might have supposed.
It might be something we could only learn through a language like his,
unbearably fearless and beautiful."
"It is a poetry that probes the hidden shoals and depths
of daily life, that touches into them, and with deft and warm technically
brilliant voices reveals the splendors of our anguish, the wisdom of our