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Dean Rader
Dean Rader, a professor at the University of San Francisco, has published widely in the fields of poetry, American Indian studies, and popular and visual culture. His debut collection of poems, Works & Days, won the 2010 T. S. Eliot Prize, and his most recent collection, Landscape Portrait Figure Form, was named by the Barnes & Noble Review as one of the Best Books of Poetry for 2013. He recently edited 99 Poems for the 99 Percent: An Anthology of Poetry, which is currently #1 on the Small Press Distribution Poetry Bestseller List. He writes reviews and columns for The Huffington Post, The Rumpus,and The San Francisco Chronicle the most notable of which is the now famous/infamous “10 Greatest Poets” project. To read more of Dean's columns and to buy his books, visit him on Red Room.

Entries by Dean Rader

The NBA Finals: Time To Get Your Wine On

(0) Comments | Posted June 7, 2016 | 2:03 PM

Wine, like sports, is best enjoyed with someone (or something) else. We love to pair up and drink wine, much the same way we like to pair wine with steak, with cheese, with fish, with charcuterie, with fruit, with making out. The great sommelier Christopher Sawyer pairs wine...

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It Is Time To Reveal Myself: Eunice Odio's The Fire's Journey

(0) Comments | Posted April 6, 2016 | 6:22 PM

For years, Tavern Books, a small independent publisher out of Portland, has been quietly producing excellent, exquisite books. Their mission is to bring high quality projects that may have flown under the radar--by foreign and domestic authors--to American readers. Everything Tavern does is top shelf, especially their two-volume...

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Thou Hast Thy Music Too: Three Books for Autumn

(0) Comments | Posted September 30, 2015 | 1:18 PM

Once again, October has sidled up like a stalker. It's been on our heels for months. We know this because the school bell is ringing. Traffic is worse. We're bored with our books. However, you have clicked on a link which has ferried you, rather magically, to this essay, which...

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Drink a Poem: On Chardonnay, Pinot, and Poetry

(2) Comments | Posted April 2, 2015 | 3:44 PM

Not long ago I was with a friend in Napa, and we were doing what most people in Napa do--drink wine. But, we had also been doing what very few people in Napa (or anywhere else) do on a regular basis--talk about poetry. My friend works in the tech sector...

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Three Books of Poems You Should Have Read in 2014

(0) Comments | Posted January 28, 2015 | 1:21 PM

In 2014, a number of high-profile poetry collections leaped from the often ignored world of poetry culture into the wider world of what we might call readerly culture. Books like Claudia Rankine's Citizen, Louise Gluck's Faithful and Virtuous Night, Edward Hirsch's Gabriel,...

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The Poetry of Politics, the Politics of Poetry: On Claudia Rankine's Citizen

(0) Comments | Posted December 11, 2014 | 9:08 AM

The most-talked-about book of American poetry of 2014 is Claudia Rankine's Citizen. In fact, it is hard to think of a book of poems in recent memory that has received more acclaim. Citizen has been called "especially vital" by The New Yorker, "urgent" by The New York...

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Poems That Contain (and Critique) History: Three First Books

(0) Comments | Posted October 6, 2014 | 11:57 AM

Few projects in publishing are as little understood as the first book of poems -- especially among non-poets. Most civilians I talk to think it's pretty easy to publish a book of poems and are even surprised when I break the news that there are really no advances, no agents...

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Uttering the Holy: On Poetry and Politics

(0) Comments | Posted September 17, 2014 | 4:40 PM

Not long ago, I was talking to a group of people who all happened to be in book clubs. I asked them if they ever read a book of poems as part of their club. They all pondered this for a moment before saying, almost in unison, "No."


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The Poetry of Illustration, the Illustration of Poetry: Frog and Toad Together in San Francisco

(0) Comments | Posted December 20, 2013 | 11:34 AM


The fun new exhibit at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco -- Frog and Toad and the World of Arnold Lobel -- is going to make a lot of folks in the Bay Area very happy. How do I know this? Because...

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What Poetry Can Do: Brenda Hillman & Geoffrey G. O'Brien

(2) Comments | Posted December 10, 2013 | 12:59 PM

W. H. Auden, the great British poet, is famous for many things, including being the poet who claimed that poetry makes nothing happen. I have seen way too many people take that infamous line -- which appears in his lovely elegy to William Butler Yeats -- out of context. I...

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Ring in the New Year With Ringing New Poetry

(0) Comments | Posted January 17, 2013 | 3:59 PM

For those of you who have read more poetry! as one of your New Year's resolutions, I have good news. Under review are four notable books of poems by Bay Area writers that were published in the latter half of 2012. I chose them not only because the books are...

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Fall Is Here, So Is the Best of Bay Area Poetry

(0) Comments | Posted October 10, 2012 | 3:02 PM

Perhaps it is the transformation of the trees, the change in temperature and light, or the beginning of the school year, but whatever the reason autumn has always been the best season for poetry. Don't get me wrong, I love summer, but after a while I'm ready for things to...

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Politics And Poetry: Do They Really Ever Meet In America?

(10) Comments | Posted December 20, 2011 | 12:48 PM

When Bay Area poets Robert Hass, Brenda Hillman, and Geoffery G. O'Brien were beaten by police during a peaceful protest at Occupy Berkeley, the answer to the question the headline poses was answered in dramatic fashion.

The news spread quickly in the poetry community. We...

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Litquake: What Not To Miss

(1) Comments | Posted October 7, 2011 | 7:39 PM

San Francisco's Litquake -- America's best (and wackiest) literary festival -- is upon us. For a glorious week in glorious October, the City's Mission District celebrates literature not simply by adding liquor to ice but by chasing down that pair with some of the best readings around. Think...

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A Conversation With Award-Winning Poet Matthew Zapruder

(2) Comments | Posted August 1, 2011 | 11:39 AM

Matthew Zapruder is one of the Bay Area's most interesting poets. He and I recently had an interesting conversation about poetry, poetic craft, and the reader. Zapruder is the author of three collections of poetry. His most recent book, Come On All You Ghosts (Copper Canyon, 2010), was...

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It's Still Summer! Books by Bay Area Authors You'll Be Glad You Read

(2) Comments | Posted July 14, 2011 | 1:04 PM

At the minimum, there are five weeks of summer left. For some, close to eight. There is no way you have read as much as you wanted this summer, even if you have perused the PDF of Go The F*ck To Sleep every day since early June. Except...

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