"Stephen Dobyns’ poems have never been of the Tower, nor do they belong in the parlor. Instead, he has struck me, for over forty years, as a poet of great courage and a restless, relentless imagination. He never, never stops trying to do the impossible: to tell the truth. This is a book of mature brilliance."
"The Day’s Last Light returns us to the origins of poetry: story and song. For nearly four decades, Dobyns has written poetry that interrupts the deadening machinery of our invention to reassert the primacy of human relations and the remnants of wisdom we gain that alight our radiant journeys, which makes him one of America’s most relevant and treasured poets. With characteristic wit and literary surliness, this volume continues his big soul reflections. Right now, someone is checking a math equation hoping to unite theories of relativity and black holes, but you are here with this book in your hand ready for the vigilance and proximity of a voice that is ruminative, erudite, and charged to illumine all the edges of our universe."
"It is time to rank Stephen Dobyns among our finest living poets, for he has written several of the strongest poetry books published in the last forty years, and The Day’s Last Light is his most humanly ambitious and imaginatively evocative work to date. Specific death is his subject, the death of his great love, his friends, and his own. His vision reminds one of Shakespeare, hedgeless, unremittingly tragic, but tempered by his absurdist, metaphysical wit, brilliant metaphor, and pragmatism. He never panders, never pumps the emotion. Every poem says, here is this man, inside and out, and the best of them, ‘Sixteen Sonnets for Isabel’ and ‘Laugh,’ his superb portrait of a dying Hayden Carruth, are redemptive."
"For more than four decades, I have been reading indelible poems by Stephen Dobyns and learning from them—about the world, our human dilemma, and the capacity of poetry. Sui generis, he has not yet been sufficiently recognized for his crucial contributions to American letters, particularly his early mastery of narrative, metaphor, and humor, in poems that were always unafraid of conventions. What most I treasure in this new collection is how, like Prospero, he puts aside his magical powers in the sonnet sequence for Isabel, giving us an unadorned, idiomatic record of grief that is both heartbroken and heartbreaking."
—Ellen Bryant Voigt
© BOA Editions, Ltd. 2016