In Listening Devices, James Dennis brings a near- Renaissance breadth of vision to bear on a dizzying array of topics—murder hornets, the Fibonacci sequence, reincarnation, Gandhi, the dreariness of January, even an ill-behaved dog. While much of his work probes spiritual mysteries or confronts societal ills like the death penalty, U.S. immigration policy, and Covid-19, he still finds room for humor, vigorously defending “the cowardice of (his) convictions.” Dennis is as much at home with the sonnet or ghazal as with free verse, and this command of craft, coupled with his deep music and arresting imagery, transforms the seemingly ordinary into the breath-taking. No doubt about it: James Dennis is a poetic wizard, and at least some of that magic is sure to rub off on his readers. How lucky they are.
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Published by Stephen F. Austin University Press