Dan Gutstein is also the author of non/fiction (stories, Edge Books, 2010). His writing has appeared in more than 65 publications, includingPloughshares, Prairie Schooner, American Scholar, The Iowa Review, Denver Quarterly, The Penguin Book of the Sonnet, and Best American Poetry. He runs the Writing Studio and Learning Resource Center at Maryland Institute College of Art, and teaches creative writing at the Writer’s Center, in Bethesda, Md., and at George Washington University. The web site Rate My Professors named him the 2010-2011 “hottest” professor in America, and he has received grants and awards from the Maryland State Arts Council, Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County (Md.), and University of Michigan, among others. In past lives, he worked as an international economist, theatre arts educator, editor-in-chief, tae kwon do instructor, and farm hand.Website: dangutstein.blogspot.com
From powerful poems of loss and mourning to the “imperfect decay” of mysterious urban landscapes where wrecking balls can turn a “dying hospital” into “a spaghetti of rebar and boxy rubble,” Gutstein’s work takes us inside a world of emotional and physical devastation. Transcendence is achieved in Bloodcoal & Honey thanks to Gutstein’s restrained and potent use of language, keen intelligence, and careful observation of interior life.
In Dan Gutstein’s Bloodcoal & Honey Detective P points the poem at the reader. It’s almost a film noir moment on the page. The names Warren and David haunt this collection. Gutstein’s work is dark and violent in places. Some poems tell you—”Don’t Move.” There is lyrical sorrow in this book but one will discover a love for language beneath the rain.
—E. Ethelbert Miller
These poems dwell in the twin worlds of danger and beauty, the way “men sit in the space thunder rushes / to fill” while “a hundred tomatoes [twinkle] on the vine.” Gutstein describes the harrowing rhythms of loss but a tender resurgence as well, as if the metals in Bloodcoal are tempered by the curvilinear season of Honey. A book you won’t forget.