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Publish Date: September 2014
BY Lee Ann Roripaugh
Based on sources as diverse as Heian period female Japanese writers and the world of science fiction, and drawing on her own experience as a second-generation Japanese American, acclaimed poet Lee Ann Roripaugh’s fourth collection explores a series of “word betrayals”—English words misunderstood in transmission from her Japanese mother that came to take on symbolic ramifications in her early years. Co-opting and repurposing the language of knowledge and of misunderstanding, and dialoguing in original ways with notions of diaspora and hybrid identities, these poems demonstrate the many ways we attempt to be understood, culminating in an experience of aural awe.
At once wonderfully lyrical and strikingly acute, Dandarians will further establish Lee Ann Roripaugh as one of the most important and original voices in contemporary Asian American literature.
"In her fourth collection, Lee Ann Roripaugh mobilizes the Japanese haibun to investigate the dialectic of trauma and care that gives rise to a particularly luminous poetic sensibility."—Srikanth Reddy, author of Voyager and Facts for Visitors
"Lee Ann Roripaugh's best book yet, here are pages to cherish simply for the way they make up words, or put words together but here, too, is the resonant voice of a newly confident author: Roripaugh's associations, juxtapsitions, recollections, digressions take her from purple riverbanks to stark regret and back to present-day starshine."—Stephen Burt, author of The Forms of Youth and The Art of the Sonnet
"In Dandarians, Lee Ann Roripaugh’s brilliant fourth book, the poet’s lovely, lyrical wordplay reveals its origins in political and familial dissent. Believe this poet when she tells you what she knows."—Carol Guess, author of Darling Endangered and Doll Studies: Forensics
"I am completely in awe of and in love with Lee Ann Roripaugh's Dandarians, of the perfection of her images, the intensity of her language, the glittering and gorgeous union of these two. I stall and stutter, a willing captive to her phrases."—Jenny Boully, author of The Book of Beginnings and Endings and The Body: An Essay