“Dimitrov is a vital new energy in American poetry.”—Los Angeles Review of Books
“Truth-telling, raw, fierce with feeling.”—Brenda Shaughnessy
“Dimitrov can sound at once hip and naive, devoted to the sincerities that other sorts of poets reject or obscure.”—Publishers Weekly
Together and by Ourselves, Alex Dimitrov’s second book of poems, takes on broad existential questions and the reality of our current moment: being seemingly connected to one another, yet emotionally alone. Through a collage aesthetic and a multiplicity of voices, these poems take us from coast to coast, New York to LA, and toward uneasy questions about intimacy, love, death, and the human spirit. Dimitrov critiques America’s long-lasting obsessions with money, celebrity, and escapism—whether in our personal, professional, or family lives. What defines a life? Is love ever enough? Who are we when together and who are we by ourselves? These questions echo throughout the poems, which resist easy answers. The voice is both heartfelt and skeptical, bruised yet playful, and always deeply introspective.
What is aging exactly?
There are new jobs and people
and someone dies before noon every day.
I am swimming and swimming…in May or an ocean,
I don’t see the reason. “But that’s unimportant,” you said.
“Just keep doing it over again until one day you can’t.”
Spring excites us and we know what it is every time.
The minutes in meetings are life’s most undistinguished;
that’s obvious. And what’s obvious makes us all fools
then fast friends.
Alex Dimitrov is the author of Together and by Ourselves (Copper Canyon Press, 2017), Begging for It (Four Way Books, 2013), and the online chapbook American Boys (Floating Wolf Quarterly, 2012). He is the recipient of the Stanley Kunitz Prize from the American Poetry Review and a Pushcart Prize. His poems have been published in Poetry, The Yale Review, Kenyon Review, Slate, Tin House, Boston Review, and the American Poetry Review. He is the Senior Content Editor at the Academy of American Poets where he edits the popular online series Poem-a-Day and American Poets magazine. He has taught creative writing at Rutgers University-New Brunswick, Marymount Manhattan College, Bennington College, and lives in New York City.
Together and By Ourselves Alex Dimitrov
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