An Introduction to Dana Roeser’s Poetry

Acclaimed poet Tony Hoagland says that “Dana Roeser’s lanky poems are neck-deep in life, and relentlessly intent on learning the truth. She has her own charming and muscular prosody; she tells lively, moving stories; but it is the determined persistence of their very human speaker which drives the poems.” Rodney Jones, recent winner of the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Prize, says that her “overarching theme is individual, feminist, contemporary: how does a woman know herself apart from convention and duty?” Dana Roeser delivers to us a world filled with cars breaking down, young children throwing up, a mother dying, women in their underwire bras getting struck by lightning—all the usual, casual, catastrophic events of our lives folded together with other foreign objects into a child’s crazy King Cake.


Recent Interviews About the Craft of Writing


“My ‘method’ of learning how to be a poet is to study how poems are made in poems very unlike my own, which I love and appreciate but have no clue how to emulate directly. So … study your opposites, whom you love for whatever reason.” Read the full interview in The Kenyon Review Online >>


“I don’t want to be pigeonholed as a narrative poet—not that that’s a bad thing. I don’t think the lyric poets envy the narrative poets, but the narrative poets do envy the lyric poets. I think my blend of lyric and narrative has to do with my earlier point about stylizing. I developed a style that foregrounds all the elements.” Read the full interview in The Sycamore Review >>


“I am a student not only of anxiety but of how to break it up, interrupt it.  I use surprise (e.g., abrupt changes in syntax—sudden stops, pivots, exclamations, etc.), disparate associations, sudden switches in subject matter, humor (which can be a part of the preceding), the lyric moment and/or epiphany (I hesitate to use that word), and so on.  Anxiety does fuel my writing, but so does the earnest desire to not let it get a stranglehold on my work or my life.” Read the full interview in Verdad Magazine >>


Forthcoming Publications |  Sample Poems |  Readings and Interviews | Selected Prose