"Young's "Bender" is a book of survival and strength, of seeing even in the smallest things the heights of what we can be. That's as good a definition of contemporary poetry as any."--NPR
"This book reads like a long, breathless thank you for life's seemingly random jumble of beauty, strangeness, tenderness, and joy."-- "Los Angeles Times"
"The reader's mind shoots through Young's poems] like the steel ball in a pinball machine, dinging around, racking up points. Dean's poems are amazingly fun."-- "BOMB"
"After 10 books over 20-odd years, Young has become one of our most imitated poets: his jocular jumps from topic to topic, debts to Surrealist dream-logic, mixture of postmodern oddity, stand-up comedy and weighty pathos land his work somewhere between John Ashbery (to whom Young owes much) and Billy Collins (whose affability Young shares)." --"Publishers Weekly"
"Young revitalizes the lyric by reminding us that Art must never be less explosive and majestic and joyous than Life, lest it not only be no temporary substitute for Life but also no fitting representation of (or challenge to) life's regularities and irregularities. Bender will make you laugh, reflect, and marvel at how the contrary impulses and instantiations of both Life and Art can so readily be distilled in the sensibilities of a single man, or--in the case of "Bender"--a single book." --"The Huffington Post"
"Dean Young's "Bender: New & Selected Poems" provides a direct experience with all the stunning possibilities of language at its most sublime."-- "The Journal"
From "Even Funnnier Looking Now":
"If someone had asked me then,
Do you suffer from the umbrage of dawn's
dark race horses, is your heart a prisoner
of raindrops? Hell yes I would have said
or No way Never would I have said,
What could you possibly be talking about?
I had just gotten to the twentieth century
like a leftover girder from the Eiffel Tower.
My Indian name was Pressure-Per-Square-Inch.
I knew I was made of glass but I didn't
yet know what glass was made of: hot sand
inside me like pee going all the wrong
directions, probably into my heart
which I knew was made of gold foil
glued to dust . . . "