Feet First by Dion Farquhar, a 2008 Sinclair Poetry Prize Finalist
Cover art by Douglas McClellan
“Dion Farquhar straddles the experimental and the traditional with a gutsy, funny, raw, heartful, in-your-face New Yorker stand up, stand out style. She does so brilliantly with a voice that seems to rise out of the Metropolis itself, one that catches the speed and power of the city and that delights in the play of contradictions.
Meshing indictment with celebration, her solidly historical poems speed readers through the decades without being shrill or doctrinaire—and with humor, irony, wistfulness, and always–the high-energy of an omnivore.” —Robert Sward, New & Selected Poems, 1957-2011
“The poems in Feet First constitute a spiritual autobiography of sorts, exhilarating and eclectic, in which Farquhar, as if in a dire debate with the forces of abnegation and despair, complacency and blankness, musters a barrage of remembered intensities from her childhood in the fifties and youth in the sixties and early seventies—which she concretizes with an abundance of details, spotlighting fleeting transcendencies (of sex and music and protest, i.e., friendship and fellowship) and making virtual memes of the minutiae of Baby Boom material culture—the better to celebrate the deeper triumphs and quieter joys of achieving a productive and nurturing middle age. These poems are too urgent to settle for mere scorn of the alienating political context in which many of them are placed; at the tragic divide that every work of art is poised at at every phase of its realization, the self-indictment Farquhar, we gather, stands in greatest horror of is “Too little too late.” Anyone who ever ran way faster for wearing their Red Ball Jets will feel clutches of recognition while reading these poems.” —Jeffrey Gustavson, Editor, Epiphany