- “David Rivard’s marvelous new book, Sugartown, moves through familiar material, like the way a good mood and a good memory can make life seem rich and even death nearly acceptable….These street-wise, book-wise, eloquent poems have a bracing sureness and scope.”—Washington Post Book World
In Sugartown, David Rivard's fourth collection, the poems come off as overheard, mischievous conversations, detailing with panache, humor, and candor the American catch-as-catch-can experience of daily existence. Language and merchandise pass over us in continual feed, and Rivard adeptly, subtly renders this predicament and its costs, while offering in these poems the alternative of paying attention--to one's self, to others, to the seemingly misbegotten world. Rivard's associative, inclusive lyrics are wild forays into the frustrated but still hopeful imagination, tested daily by product placement, unmitigated desires, injustices, and the slipstream of voices and dreams. The shards of experiences in Rivard's Sugartown are glimpsed out of the corner of one's eye, in a blur of speed. The shapes are often familiar: the happy candy of cell-phone chatter, immigrant construction workers, menus built to comfort the wealthy, emotions turned into intellectual property rights. Underneath this stream of experience, and traveling at exactly the same speed, is the clarity and surprise that our lives--our small triumphs and failures--seem to matter so much more than anyone would have expected.
- “Jazz rhythms and capital-R Romantic hopes infuse Rivard’s fourth collection.”—Publishers Weekly
- "In the spirit of Whitman and Williams, Rivard has developed a way to seize a meaningful, musical pleasure from the unceasing thrum of data assaulting our senses each second; each poem is a momentary stay against the peculiar pressures of contemporary confusion."—Salamander
- "A vibrant fourth collection."—Sanford Herald