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Stephen Dunn
Stephen Dunn
Poet Stephen Dunn received the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for poetry for his book Different Hours...
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Books Noted: Stephen Dunn's What Goes On: Selected and New Poems 1995-2009


W. W. Norton & Company, 2009

What Goes On selects work from Stephen Dunnís six most recent books, as well as new poems. In a new poem titled "Please Understand (A Bachelorís Valentine)," Dunn writes, "Please understand. Iíve never been able to tell / whatís worth more—what I want or what I have." This dichotomy, between oneís life and the lives one could lead, troubles the stories in many of the poems in this book. Dunn explores the sometimes dangerous desire for another kind of life and what happens when one has turned away from the expected trajectories one is following, what happens if one turns away from a lover, from the natural arc of a conversation, from comfort. These clear, honest poems do not shy away from self-criticism or the awkwardness of change. They do investigate how to expand the possible and stay close to the unknown.

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