An Introduction to Dana Roeser by Kristina Marie Darling

Dana Roeser is a contemporary master, a gifted poet whose work has not yet received the praise that it’s due. While certainly accomplished, with prize-winning collections available from Two Sylvias Press, the University Press of Massachusetts, and many other distinguished venues, Ms. Roeser’s poetry is certainly deserving of even wider recognition. She has a gift for repurposing familiar forms like couplets, tercets, and quatrains in unexpected ways, creating a provocative and generative tension between form and content, which inevitably drives the work forward. Within these orderly structures, we discover the disruptions of the deeply personal, the post-confessional. What’s more, Roeser is a genius at knowing the perfect to break form, signaling to us as readers all the myriad ways poetic voice resists, breaks free from, our efforts to lend order to disruptive sensory and emotive experiences. Here, form not only becomes “an extension of content,” in the grand tradition of Charles Bernstein, but enriches content, adding endless layers of possibility to expertly and tightly controlled crafted lyric narratives.