In addition to narrating the fine novel you're now holding, Denver Hoptner (Jeff Vande Zande's particularized composite of hundreds of thousands of young writers adrift in America today) does something, something of consequence, and does it without thinking (just as real poetry can't be simply thought into being). A friend of his tells him, "You made the symbol real." By way of Vande Zande's passion, American Poet reaches through the ramifying shadow of Theodore Roethke to the hoped-for communal force of poetry itself. Denver's story has hurt me into feeling uncomfortably young and vulnerable again, but this time that young self of mine has been understood. -William Heyen
"This coming-of-age tale centers on a young poet, who is ill-prepared for and frustrated by the hometown he returns to, where he fights with his father and with himself. Set against the backdrop of a broken city and a failed relationship, the novel champions poetry and the underdog--whether it be our seemingly--incompetent narrator, a baseball team, or a failing non-profit. With American Poet, Jeff Vande Zande has written a love poem for the city of Saginaw, and, by extension, a love poem for Flint, Gary, Cleveland, or any forgotten city in the Rust Belt." -Gina Myers
Set in Saginaw, Michigan, home of poet Theodore Roethke, we follow a young man's journey as he seeks to find himself and finds as well poetry, family, and America.|American Poet: A Novel by Jeff Vande ZandeSee all Editorial Reviews
More than a coming-of-age novel, American Poet, through the earnest steadfastness of its effervescent main character, frames the argument that poetry matters today more than ever. Read morePublished on September 30, 2012 by Michael
I bought this book as a requirement for a college English class at SVSU. I am so glad we were required to read it for class or I may not have ever discovered Jeff Vande Zande's... Read morePublished on June 28, 2012 by K.E.T.
A fantastic novel. I'm not one to go into the nth degree during reviews but this is a book that should be a must read for every poet filled with self doubt, but it's a novel for... Read morePublished on May 31, 2012 by Miller