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David Rivard

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.

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The interrogative, effervescent new collection by David Rivard, whose poetry "leaves me with a desire to be permanently friends with this mysterious kind of grace." (Tomaz Salamun)

About the Author

David  Rivard
Credit: Matt Valentine
David Rivard is the author of six poetry collections, including Standoff, Otherwise Elsewhere, Sugartown, and Wise Poison, winner of the James Laughlin Award. He recently received the O. B. Hardison Poetry Prize from the Folger Shakespeare Library. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and teaches creative writing at the University of New Hampshire.
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  • “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
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