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Rivering

Dean Kostos

ISBN 978-1-933132-37-2        $15.00       150 pages

 

Nearly every line can be quoted as an example of linguistic beauty ranging through the tools of internal rhyme, assonance and consonance to subtler resonances.

                   Taos Journal of Poetry

 

Very few of these poems come to us with the demands of a determined art; rather, as in the first

poems of Cavafy, the grace of Dean Kostos’s texts (I would call it unconscious grace, for that is

the adjective which permits all heaven as much as all hell to explode, to let fly) is the result of

another effort, not even the effort to please, but merely—merely!—the will to tell the truth, to tell

what happened, what didn’t … It is another version of art to which the poet trusts himself, call it the

grace of nature which invites the reader to return, to read again until he has made the poem an

experience of his own. That is what happens here, the reader returns until he owns the poems.

Or do the poems own him?

                    Richard Howard

 

To his own medium, poetry, Dean Kostos applies his art teacher’s advice: “... draw in the mystery,

press down harder - / let darkness draw all the elements together.” An impassioned observer who

sees beneath the surface to subterranean rivers, Kostos is attentive to the confluence of dark forces.

Yet his richly rendered poems also offer burnished and evocative depictions of our world as encapsulated

in art. Both in its themes and in the controlled lushness of its style, Rivering presents a feast of figuration.

                   Rachel Hadas, author of The Ache of Appetite

 

Like latter-day sarcophagi, Dean Kostos’s keenly musical poems do justice to absent spirits and fugitive

intuitions. In each line’s precise intonation, and in each stanza’s decisive shape, I hear the poet’s

entranced attentiveness to the weight and luminousness of syllable. Kostos displays a laudable plurality

of influences and inspirations; reading this artfully constructed book, I happily identified with his

hunger for the mutable, the emblematic, the unattainable.

                   Wayne Koestenbaum, author of Best-Selling Jewish Porn Films

 

This is a book to be savored; each poem is a complete experience. Kostos’s work is fully formed, gorgeous,

velvet and shattered glass, a kind of hymn to the universe. He traverses from the personal to the religious,

to Ekphrasis, to the myths of the Greeks, Hindus, Egyptians, Romans, to his own myths and demons.

An almost terrifying onslaught of language (his verbs are amazing), in carefully controlled forms. Rivering is a feat of language and beauty, keen psychological insight, great craft, and a dizzying complex of ideas and feelings.”

                  Veronica Golos, author of Vocabulary of Silence