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Winner — 2001 National Book Award for Poetry
Poems Seven: New and Complete Poetry, the winner of the National Book Award, presents the life work of a giant of American letters, tracks a forty-year career of honest, tough artistry, and shows a man at nearly 80 years of age and still at the height of his poetic power. Dugan’s new poems continue his career-long concerns with renewed vigor: the poet’s insistence that art is a grounded practice threatened by pretension, the wry wit, the jibes at the academic and sententious, and the arresting observations on the quotidian battles of life. All the while he peppers his poems with humorous images of the grim and daunting topics of existential emptiness.
“Alan Dugan’s poetry, from the beginning, has had bite and style. The bittersweet quality of his work deepens with the years. His poems are spare, quirky, fierce, unconcessive, grudging, loving, and terribly real.” — Stanley Kunitz
“The teller of these awkward truths has a role that could be called sacred…Dugan’s remarkable achievement is to see into mean or mundane materials with all the profundity and force of poetry.” — Robert Pinsky, New York Times Book review