Finally, this weekend, I received my copy of Same Old Story and finished it last night. Truth in advertising, Dawn, because this ain't the Same Old Story at all. This strikes me as a real departure for you, a real act of bravery, a real willingness to forego the earlier virtues and write very new Dawn Potter poems. There seems to be twists and turns in the language and in the push of the poem that you would not have made, or dared to make, before. I could give you lots of examples, but the individual cases are not to the point, it is the whole way of working and talking that I believe you are shifting. And change in and of itself is not great shakes, but these changes are changes in authority, in vision, in the desire to make language a different tool and they work remarkably well.
I love the sheer balls of White Bear and the fact that it is in the same book as Spring on Ripley Road. I love the assertion and counterassertion of Ugly Town, the poem that absolutely undercuts itself as the light undercuts the ugliness of the town. There is a daring here and then an execution that is really remarkable.
You were a remarkable poet, Dawn, before but you are reaching and pulling down new things that are very, very powerful. I admire this book and your enterprise in it very deeply.