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Bob Hicok’s <i>Red Rover Red Rover</i> is joyous and macabre, hopeful and morbid, caring and critical. These poems are apocalyptic in tone but tender in their depiction of dying animals, disappearing water, raging fires, and the humans to blame. He calls attention to the dire costs of modern conveniences and begs for our willingness to change. No subject is too high or low for his wide-sweeping gaze, a comfort with extremes that gives his work the quality of an embrace. Threads of humor, romance, and kindness suggest America’s capacity to transcend the disastrous present: “heaven’s everywhere / someone needs a place to rest // and someone else says, / Come in.” Hicok presents a high-stakes game of survival and connection.
"The most potent ingredient in virtually every one of Bob Hicok's compact, well-turned poems is a laughter as old as humanity itself."—The New York Times Book Review"Hicok's poems are like boomerangs; they jut out in wild, associative directions, yet find their way back to the root of the matter, often in sincere and heartbreaking ways."—Publishers WeeklyIn Sex & Love &, Bob Hicok attempts the impossible task of confronting love and its consequences, in which «everything is allowed, minus forever.» Switching gracefully between witty confessions and blunt confrontations, Hicok muses on age, distance, secret messages, and, of course, sex. Throughout, poetry is discovered to be among our most effective tools to examine the delirium of making contact."Hot":The sexiest thing a woman has ever doneto or with or for me—while wearing the loose breezeof a dress or standing inside its red zero on the floor—while bending over and pulling her shorts downon a racquetball court or to reach the watershutoff valve behind the fridge—as Satiewhispers against our thighs or hummingher brain's native tune as we touchthe smudged glass protecting extinct beetlesin a museum—with her lips swaddling my tongueor finger up my ass—is tell the truth—which makes my wife the hottest womanI've ever known—her mouth erotic every timeshe speaks—she is an animal when it comes to sexand love—comes to us—in that she doesn't primpin front of the mirror of what she thinks I wanther to say or be—the only real flesh—only nakedthat matters––how she looks at meBob Hicok's poems have appeared in the New Yorker, Poetry, and the American Poetry Review. His books have been awarded the Bobbitt Prize from the Library of Congress and named a «Notable Book of the Year» by Booklist. Hicok has worked as an automotive die designer and a computer system administrator. He is currently teaching at Purdue University.
The hardback of Elegy Owed is nominated for the 2014 National Book Critic's Circle Award! Winner announced in March 2014. Bob Hicok is considered one of the most prolific poets writing today, publishing hundreds of poems in a wide variety of magazines, including The New Yorker, Poetry, and The American Poetry Review Hicok has a dual appeal: He once owned his own automotive die design company, so has a real-world perspective and diction. Today he works in academia, though he has no academic degree. When Hicok was just beginning as a poet, he often read at slams and open mics in Ann Arbor, Michigan, as he preferred the “towny” scene of sub shops and bars to the world of the University of Michigan. Hicok's books are consistently well reviewed, including The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and Boston Review