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America Bound

An Epic for Our Time

David Radavich


In this richly polyphonic text, Radavich couples narrative verse with interlocking dramatic monologues to deliver a revisionist history of America since the second World War -- an account across generations so inclusive as to seem Whitmanesque -- encompassing personal and national identities, conscience and community. 'I hear the voices of America,' writes Radavich, and through them America Bound renders a cultural landscape altered in the wake of the Twentieth Century. By 'listening to the voices of those who lived simply for themselves and others in the heartland of their history,' voices aching to be heard, we sense how their stories are also ours, and their questions -- 'Where do we all go from her?' -- the ones we must live by.

Christian Knoeller, poet, author of Completing the Circle

America Bound rests firmly in a tradition of dramatic lives rendered through poetry, especially Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters. David Radavich paints lovely portraits that fill an American town with rich and moving lives.

Patricia Clark, poet, author of My Father on a Bicycle

This is poetry that matters. Radavich has a dramatist's gift of being able to evoke character with only a few words from a speaker's mouth: these are poems that come from the tongue, and like intimate, personal speech, invite us to speak back. Though the speakers reflect social movements and economic booms and busts, they are never abstractions or simply victims, but people telling their stories of gains and losses in ways that invite compassion, respect, and fellow feeling. This book makes me hopeful for the future of American poetics as part of our political discourse, as part of a common life that binds our diverse interests. If more poets had Radavich's ambition -- to write for a broad audience, instead of only a few; to write about the world we live in and what we owe to others -- then we would see people everywhere with poems in their pockets and in their briefcases.

Leonora Smith, poet, author of Spatial Relations

In praise of By the Way: David Radavich demonstrates how he has found the perfect poetic technique for the expression of his unfailingly interesting take on life. This is splendidly controlled free verse which takes the reader into fascinating alleyways that resolve themselves into neatly, though never glibly, turned conclusions. There are many''Yes, yes, that's exactly how it is' poems . . . .

Adrian Buckner, Orbis, Summer 1998

ISBN: 978-1-891386-68-8. $14.95

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