American Poet by Jeff Vande Zande
A Novel

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Thank you Jeff Vande Zande for creating the character of Denver Hoptner and returning him home for a Saginaw summer to be transformed by its malleable iron heat. Forged in personal crisis, Denver loved and hated his hometown as he walked its tension-filled streets where he felt his poetic voice unwelcome, another lost son, much like Roethke two generations before.

Denver was stuck in writer's block...until he learned that it was because of Saginaw that Roethke found his images to write...until he learned to go back to move forward...until he valued his father's teachings of history of place and of hard work, not taking the easy way but do it right, only then was he able to discover his own uniqueness and potential in the context of his community....Denver's 'rite of passage,' so filled with courage, sacrifice and risk, guides us in what's important. May more of us listen to his shouts of "Save this House" to serve Roethke's hometown and to honor a poet's life. May more of us climb with Denver and Jeff Vande Zande to become 'children on top of the greenhouse.' Let's have it crowded up there! -Annie Ransford, president Friends of Theodore Roethke

About Jeff Vande Zande

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Jeff Vande Zande writes poetry, fiction, and screenplays. His fiction includes EMERGENCY STOPPING AND OTHER STORIES (Bottom Dog Press, 2004), Into the Desperate Country (March Street Press, 2006), LANDSCAPE WITH FRAGMENTED FIGURES (Bottom Dog Press, 2009) and AMERICAN POET: A NOVEL (Bottom Dog Press, 2012). He teaches at Delta College in upstate Michigan.
Published February 23, 2012 by Bottom Dog Press. 160 pages
Genres: Self Help, Literature & Fiction, Parenting & Relationships. Non-fiction

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New York Journal of Books

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“Mr. Vande Zande understands attempts for grace under pressure as well as the dignity inherent in failure.”

Feb 28 2012 | Read Full Review of American Poet: A Novel

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