Parable of Hide and Seek

Parable of Hide and Seek


Chad Sweeney

Foreword Reviews Book of the Year Award Finalist

“The poems in Parable of Hide and Seek… unveil secret worlds, ecstatically reinventing archetypes for the American landscape.”

September 2010

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Available in print.


Chad Sweeney is the author of two previous books of poetry, Arranging the Blaze (Anhinga) and An Architecture (BlazeVox), and five chapbooks, most recently The Lost Notebooks of Juan Sweeney (Forklift)—and he is cotranslator, from the Farsi, of The Art of Stepping Through Time: Selected Poems of H.E. Sayeh (White Pine, forthcoming). Sweeney’s poems have appeared widely, including in Best American Poetry 2008 and Verse Daily. He is coeditor of Parthenon West Review and editor of the City Lights anthology Days I Moved Through Ordinary Sounds. A PhD candidate at Western Michigan University, Chad teaches poetry in Kalamazoo and lives with his wife, poet Jennifer K. Sweeney.

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Additional Praise:

“Sweeney’s poems reveal that language is parable, from the sound of a breath shaped by a mouth, to words artfully arranged on the page: there is much hidden, there is much below the surface, there is much to be discovered—”
Sally Ashton, Poetry Flash

“[Sweeney] knows the poet’s job, and it shows…”
Galatea Resurrects

“Sweeney employs careful and lush images informed by his natural surrealist bent…Like a good parable, the poems seem to nearly deliver a message. Like a dysfunctional parable, they also meander through a world of smells like a distracted dog.”
The Great American Pinup

“Chad Sweeney’s Parable of Hide and Seek reads like the experience of stepping into someone else’s bizarre but magnificently imaginative dreamworld. In Sweeney’s world, deserts have doors and rats swim to the sun, calling to mind a surrealist painting. . . a mesmerizing read that takes the unexpected to a new and unchartered level.”
New Pages

“With relatively simple, tactile images, Sweeney offers a unique conception of perspective that breathes eccentric life and personality into the artificial world…Parable of Hide and Seek is a truly terrific gem just aching to be found.”
Gently Read Literature

“The humility and gentle sensibility of Chad Sweeney’s poems are, judging by his reading and conversation, wholly genuine. Their surreal yet familiar landscapes pull me in, and I think they will you, too.”
Sabotage Magazine, Jared Randall on his favorite “Literary Discovery of the Year”

“This is the genius of Chad Sweeney’s poetry. These poems only mystify so far as to draw you into them, so that the poems become a communion between speaker and reader.”
The Cafe Review

“…Sweeney creates a liminal space where the real work of poetry begins…this is a book of manifold pleasures written by a poet with a deft, assured hand.”
Coldfront Magazine, included in “Top 30 Poetry Books of 2010”

“[M]usic divides night from day in this remarkable collection of sonically rich and imagistically arresting poems. Page after page, I found myself making little gasping sounds in response to Sweeney’s deft exercises in the field of negative space.”

“Parable’s strengths lie in its sonic rhythms, it’s attention to natural patterns, it’s strange mixture of technology and fable.”
Alexis Orgera, HTML Giant Reviews

“The poems in Chad Sweeney’s new book view the world through strangely faceted eyes (perhaps those of a dragonfly?) — actually they behold it, and as such they display a dazzling Rumiesque ecstasy, one that holds the reader as rapt as the creator of these poems is held by Creation. At any rate he is a shaman presiding over—of all things—the wedding of simplicity and sophistication.”
Mary Ruefle

“Chad Sweeney’s poems are matryoshka dolls of imagination: strangeness inside longing inside charm. Relentlessly figurative, they read as dreamscapes and translations: if the human soul has peripheral vision, these poems are what it sees. And gentleness, gentleness abounds here and makes the point of fancy to unite, to bring one thing beside another and build a home of their touch.”
Bob Hicok

“What to reveal and what to keep hidden? Parable of Hide and Seekdis/solves the problem by complicating it, deliberately revealing the best of our secrets and hiding all that’s obvious in both gravity and lightness. These poems turn the world inside out. Full-throttle forest! Astronaut winging! Whose shadow is that with a heartbeat so crushing? Ready or not, Chad Sweeney!”
Matt Hart

“In Parable of Hide and Seek, Chad Sweeney offers highly allusive and sonically textured lyrics that bring the reader to the edge of darkness, but always with a wink, the sense of menace tempered by the taut music of the pun.”

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More by Chad Sweeney:

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— NC