Cover image for Unleashed : poems by writers' dogs
Unleashed : poems by writers' dogs
Hempel, Amy.
First paperback edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Three Rivers Press, 1999.

Physical Description:
175 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS695.D63 U66 1995 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Now in paperback, an irresistible gift for dog lovers: poems from the dogs' point of view, written by the well known writers and poets who love them.

List of contributors:
Edward Albee,  Jennifer Allen,  Danny Anderson,  Lynda Barry,  Rick Bass,  Charles Baxter,  Robert Benson,  Roy Blount, Jr., Ron Carlson,  Jill Ciment,  Bernard Cooper,  Stephen Dobyns,   Mark Doty,   Stephen Dunn,   Anderson Ferrell,  Amy Gerstler, Matthew Graham,   Ron Hansen,   Brooks Haxton,   Cynthia Heimel,   Amy Hempel,   Noy Hollan,   Andrew Hudgins,   John Irving, Denis Johnson,  R.S. Jones,   Walter Kirn,  Sheila Kohler,   Maxine Kumin,  Natalie Kusz,  Anne Lamott,   Gordon Lish,  Ralph Lombreglia, Merrill Markoe,  Pearson Marx,  Erin McGraw,  Heather McHugh,   Arthur Miller,  George Minot,  Susan Minot,   Honor Moore, Mary Morris,  Alicia Muñoz,  Elise Paschen,  Padgett Powell,  Wyatt Prunty,  Lawrence Raab,  Mark Richard,   John Rybicki, Jeanne Schinto,  Bob Shacochis,  Jim Shepard,   Karen Shepard,  Lee Smith,  Ben Sonnenberg,  Kate Clark Spencer,  Gerald Stern,
Terese Svoboda,  William Tester,  Abigail Thomas,  Lily Tuck,  Sidney Wade,  Kathryn Walker,  William Wegman

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

Who would have thought that writers have eloquently poetic dogs, even writers who are famous for prose rather than verse, like Natalie Kusz, Gordon Lish, Bob Shacochis, Cynthia Heimel, and Roy Blount Jr.; even writers you hardly realize are writers, like cartoonist Linda Barry? Well, they do, and here their dogs are, holding forth (thanks to editors Hempel and Shepard's groupings of their efforts) on such subjects of canine contemplation as "Chow," "The Good Life," "Substance Abuse," and "Theology" (Kathryn Walker's Flea posits a Big Dog creator; Mark Doty's Beau practices Zen). Some of these pups are even able to address us from the grave, including the inevitable nonconformist, John Irving's Marrow, who opines that "All dogs prefer prose." Tricked out with more than a few dual-author portraits (pick of the pack--Andrew Hudgins and Rosie, giving good tongue), this is as endearing and amusing--as earthy, too--as poetry collections get. --Ray Olson



Introduction This project began, as so many literary ventures do, on a drunken New Year's fishing trip down in the Florida Keys. Bob Shacochis, Mark Richard, and Bob's dog, Frank, were ringing in the New Year around a campfire when Frank, an Irish Setter, was moved to verse. The poem, according to Bob, was titled "Wind," and follows in its entirety: Leaves--I thought they were birds. This was followed, according to Mark, by an ambitious sequel, Tangled cassette tapes behind Tower Records, I thought it was rats-- it was rats! One thing we were sure of: part of our happiness derived from pleasing them --the dogs we know, and, it occurred to us, the dogs we didn't know. So we decided to give to a range of animal welfare agencies every last cent we make on this book. Actually, we're devoting only half. But still--half! Think of it as our benefit for the boneless. So we're not Michael Rosen! What have you done for animals lately? We have done what vocational guidance counselors recom-mend: find a thing you do anyway, and find a way to make it pay. And for us the surprise was no surprise at all--page after page of love poems. Jim Shepard Love Song of Audrey The door, friends, will not Open. My kidneys urge The tedious quotidian. I have measured out my life With quiet whines. I grow old-- I growold-- In endless dogs' manure I'll have rolled. No! I am not Ch. Dandie Dinsmore, Nor was meant to be; Just a beta dog, one that will do To swell a pack, start a fight or two Advise the alpha, deferential, Glad to be of use, A rear-sniffer, meticulous, Politic, cautious, a bit obtuse. Shall I drink from the toilet? Do I dare steal from the plate? I shall sleep upon their bed, on those nights they return late. I shall steal away his slipper, then steal away its mate. --Audrey Stephen Dunn Buster's Visitation I'm a dead dog for real now; no longer can I rise from my fakery, alert to commands I'd come to think of as love, though I never did obey as well as Sundown did or as a truly good dog would. To play the slave, not be one, was my code. You understood, who would play the master. From my grave in the yard I see now you had no gift for it, or heart. Bad dog, you'd say, so little conviction in your voice. In seconds you'd be patting my head. Forgiveness made you happy; I'd tip over the garbage to he forgiven by you. Let me tell you it's no life being dead. I'd give anything to chase the gulls again. But clarities come when the body goes. For whatever it's worth you should know--you who think so much-- only what's been smelled or felt gets remembered. And in the dark earth no doors open, no one ever comes home. --Buster Excerpted from Unleashed: Poems by Writers' Dogs by Amy Hempel All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.