These poems were dictated in Delirium, Indiana, by the Spiritual Form of Dan Morris to the Emanation of Frank O’Hara in a yarmulke who was trying to rewrite Paterson sideways. Its gaiety is exhilarating and impressive. This is a serious view of our culture and history. Morris has a wonderful ear for the sounds and rhythms of American speech. Like Williams. Like O’Hara.—Barry Goldensohn
The ever-optimistic-ever-pessimistic-against-all-odds narrator of the poems in Daniel Morris’s If Not for the Courage pours forth an infectious goofiness of commentary whether treading on our media mythos or reminding us in such family poems as “Hannahspoon” how, almost darkly, adults and their children wage their affectionate and affecting wars. Chekhov, Turgenev, Dostoyevsky, they last, because they never mention a brand of anything, let alone knickers, says one of Morris’s beloved teachers. Au contraire! Even as Morris aims with a brave squinted eye at his and our own post-20th century poetics, his poems cut two ways, to the bone and to the funny bone. —Michael Heller
Everyday life in the household and memory of Daniel Morris’s suburban Jewish-professorpoet and father of toddlers has rarely been rendered with the energy, good humor, and luminous detail we meet in Daniel Morris’s If not for the Courage. These poems are at once hilarious and heart-breaking; they take us straight to the scene of the crime, allowing us to witness the most absurd and agonizingly funny moments of daily routine against the backdrop of unrelieved media blitz. The courage of Morris’s title is evident throughout. —Marjorie Perloff
Daniel Morris’s poetry has appeared in Agni, ColoradoReview, Denver Quarterly, River City, Southern Humanities Review, Talisman, Western Humanities Review, and many other print and on-line journals. Bryce Passage, a first book of poems, appeared with Marsh Hawk Press in 2004. A Professor of English at Purdue University, Morris has published scholarly books in the areas of modern and contemporary poetry, visual culture, and Jewish studies. He lives in West Lafayette, Indiana with his wife, Joy, and children, Isaac, Aaron, and Hannah.