Dean Kostos
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Praise for Rivering

"Very few of these poems come to us with the demands of a determined art; rather, as in the first poems of Cavafy,  the grace of Dean Kostos's texts (I would call it unconscious grace, for that is the adjective which permits all heaven as much as all hell to explode, to let fly) is the result of another effort, not even the effort to please, but merely--merely!--the will to tell the truth, to tell what happened, what didn't ... It is another version of art to which the poet trusts himself, call it the grace of nature which invites the reader to return, to read again until he has made the poem an experience of his own. That is what happens here, the reader returns until he owns the poems. Or do the poems own him?" 
--Richard Howard

Praise for This Is Not a Skyscraper

"Do you ever ask why, after a fresh haircut, your stylist can't wait to show you the back of your head? Dean Kostos, in his pithy fifth collection, will likewisetwist you in your chair. He lures readers into his hand-held mirror like a practiced stylist, meticulously exposing what we might otherwise have missed. An itinerate storyteller, his orbit is the city of New York: her museums, her parks, her Coney Island sideshows. He finds metaphor and refuge in tropes like the cape as a cover up, unveiling a fantasy of a man disrobed by a barber, then as a mother snaps on 'a cape to reveal a rabbit,' and again, in an early lover, 'his arms a cape / around me.' Villon, Gorky, Christo--Kostos enlists an army of artists to deploy his sinewy ideas. The title of this gathering of sixty-two poems alludes to Magritte's ' Ceci n'est pas une pipe' ('This Is Not a Pipe').  And this is not a collection you'll want to pass up. His poems are people by a 'hive of voices' that 'become one / voice, their mouths the muzzles / of guns'; each will leave you blinking at what you are looking at, admiring it  shape, and wanting to see more."
--Elaine Sexton, author of Sleuth and Causeway

"With craft and acuity, Dean Kostos, as an intrepid and empathetic poet-reporter, sings the teeming city of New York. making the metropolis, with its monuments, museums, crimes, and mutable desires, seem an apt mirror for 'the raucous currents of the self.' "
--Cyrus Cassells, author of The Crossed-Out Swaistika and Beautiful Signor

"Dean Kostos's poems slide in and out of ancient and modern worlds with the breathtaking grace characteristic of his work--but this time, they illuminate stories that might have been trumpeted by the news media and are now revealed in a more nuanced and intimate light. He retells tragedies of sanctioned violence, such as Amadou Diallo's fatal shooting, and reasigns power to victims. He renders institutions such as the 'Department of Commodities' both concrete and mythic; they sometimes even implode, as when flames sprout from that ubiquitous urban authority, the Con Edison building. This is no simplistic retelling of good and bad guys, though; in fact, what makes us evil, he gently shows, also makes us godly. Our split selves thrive, as in when 'a seagull's cry halves my brain,' or the speaker's disembodied shadow 'writhes from the asphalt.' Throughout, Dean Kostos is a witness and ageless player in the scenes he creates: 'I / was here,' he writes, and luckily, so are we."
--Lynn McGee, author of Bonanza

"In This Is Not a Skyscraper, Dean Kostos joins the ranks of Whitman, Crane, and Lorca in offering us a vision of New York City that is at once a real place, in all its beauty and terror--a fantastical agora of death and desire--and a living, bustling metaphor for how we all come together to live our lives, find our loves, encounter our fears, make our art, and face our fates. His poems--vividly written and as vital and varied in form and content as the city that inspired them--'block by block, / build a bridge' to every reader who is animated by the lure and lore of the metropolis."
--David Groff, author of Clay

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