seventeen poems in Back to Back, a chapbook of poems,
form a tribute to the women in Debra’s extended family.
Kang Dean’s poems are clear and convincing…. Her
language carries painful and even mundane subjects with great
delicacy, and at the same time, her poems have a fresh spontaneity
with here and there a light slant of humor. [Back to Back]
is a delightful book.”
“The poems in this beautiful little book give a clear,
simple, and loving picture of the author’s childhood.
Their simplicity, though, is about as ‘simple’
as a Zen Buddhist arrow shot or, for that matter, a Shaker
“You will remember these poems, each as carefully made
as the platter of perfect makizushi that sits beside
the bowl of untidy American potato salad in ‘Matters
of Faith: Easter 1968.’ Debra Kang Dean is unusually
gifted and wise.”