Dual: Poems (Paperback)

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A poetry collection examining masculinity, aggression, and violence.

In his fourth poetry collection, Matthew Minicucci examines masculinity and gun violence as he brings to life the grammatical concept of the dual, a number that is neither singular nor plural. Though now lost in English, the concept is present in other languages both extant and ancient. The poems’ forms fittingly include the elegy, palinode, and contrapuntal, which is both a single poem and two poems intertwined. They align contemporary moments with key texts from Western literature, including ancient Greek epics, in a way that helps us reconsider the aggression of young men. “The world kills kind boys,” Minicucci writes, and “we bury the bodies inside men.”

Minicucci recategorizes our idea of “West,” the Western canon, and the Old West and its bullets, comparing them to modern-day landscapes in Utah, Oregon, Washington, California, and Hawai’i. Whether memorializing a woodworking grandfather or poets Brigit Pegeen Kelly and James Longenbach, Dual notes that loss has a double vision. While weighty in their subjects, Dual’s poems make room for unexpected moments of lightness, such as when the speaker compares the complications of love to “reading the Iliad and realizing, sure, there's anger, // but before that there’s just a lot of camping.”

The book argues, in the end, that there is an unalienable dual between the observer and the observed, the self and the self as confessed to another.

About the Author

Matthew Minicucci is an award-winning author of three previous collections of poetry. His poems and essays have appeared in journals including APR, The Believer, Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, Poetry, and Southern Review. He is assistant professor in the Blount Scholars Program at the University of Alabama.

Praise For…

“Matthew Minicucci’s Dual questions the nature of signification and the fibers of linguistic-relational reality. He ponders, in form, content, in language acquisition’s exposed processes of how place and time bend into vivid collage, which morphs into its own complexity and nuance—the world of ancient mythology bending into personal history and into magic. Multiple crossings in single poems with various, pick-your-own avatars excite the possibilities of a reader’s expectation. No matter how much I explore in these pages, there remain countless countries yet to be seen. The texture of the language, the clarity of image, the sonic play causes me to ask, if there is text and non-text, how are these poems haunting me in all possible universes?”
— Rajiv Mohabir, author of "Cutlish" and "Antiman"

“How tenderly, how avidly Matthew Minicucci twins for us life and death in this epic-inspired collection. With linguistic and literary resources that leave me breathless, Minicucci has created, in extraordinary poems of counterpoint, elegy, and autobiography, a dualism (a mirroring, a conjunction, a metronomic pairing) not binary so much as inclusively generative and devastating. I will be recommending this brilliant and inventive book for a very long time.” 
— Kathy Fagan, author of "Bad Hobby"

Product Details
ISBN: 9781946724670
ISBN-10: 194672467X
Publisher: Acre Books
Publication Date: October 15th, 2023
Pages: 116
Language: English