The Unleashable Dog
Praise for Charles Rafferty
In the world made by Charles Rafferty's poems, men travel with hawks in their suitcases, clouds of bees disrupt wedding receptions. Rafferty sees through "the concussed air of streetlamp, mall and interchange" to the small wild heart fluttering in the center of our mostly-tamed lives. But in these poems where "a bracelet of barbed wire, a pendant of living bees" might be decorations lies a love for all the risk and beauty of being human. Charles Rafferty is a poet of vision and imagination, and The Unleashable Dog is a mature and beautiful collection.
- Al Maginnes
Charles Rafferty has long been one of my very favorite contemporary American poets, and his new collection, The Unleashable Dog, confirms that judgment again and again, with each of its delicately crafted, cunningly nuanced, and frequently hilarious poems. Rafferty is a master of the brief dramatic monologue, and the speakers in his persona poems are consistently fascinating characters. Often desperate, yet always keenly articulate, they again and again reveal more about themselves than they intend to, and it is through his exploration of this rich tension between his characters' self-concepts and the reader's perception of the true substance of their souls that Rafferty most excels as a student of human nature, and as a poet. He is a true peer of Browning and Berryman. Why Rafferty's work is not more widely known--and appreciated--is a mystery to me. His gifts are obvious and abundant. Trust me, please . . . you want to read his collection. And as soon as you do, you'll want to read it again.
- Young Smith
About the Author
Charles Rafferty has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism. This is his tenth collection of poetry. His poems have appeared widely, including The New Yorker, Oprah Magazine, Poetry East, Louisiana Literature, The Literary Review, and The Southern Review. He is also the author of a collection of short stories--Saturday Night at Magellan's. Currently, he directs the MFA program at Albertus Magnus College.