Author Derek Mong
Soft Cover, 1 illus. 6 x 8", 88 pages
An exceptional first book from a new talent
Other Romes gathers together an eclectic range of influences
Other Romes gathers together an eclectic range of influences—from Fellini films, to eating contests, Jesuit poetry, and jetliners—to confront the awkward but inevitable relationship between personal narratives and the larger public sphere. And like the title city that haunts much of this work, Mong refuses to settle on any one voice or form. Restrained at times as a Latin ode, or expansive as Whitman, these poems take erotic love and in-flight disaster through subtle, fissuring syllabics, strict sestinas, free verse, and more. The end result is an expansive collection which, as poet and critic David Baker remarks, demonstrates that “the privacy of the lyric world is part and parcel with the communal imagination.”
Other Romes' is a fun, thoughtful, and very much recommended collection of verse.
He is, in my opinion, one of the rare talents: a poet whose gift for creating invigorating verbal effects through juxtaposition and enjambment is underpinned by a philosophical mind and an instinct not to take himself too seriously.