Darren C. Demaree (Poetry) | Columbus, OH
Blurbs, Press & Reviews
Demaree’s newest installment to his oeuvre continues to cement his place as a modern poetic stylist who dare not be ignored. No other poet so seamlessly weaves pathos and purposively abstract prescience into carefully weighted stanzas as this man. In a sea of endlessly beautiful poetry, each instance procures something worth quoting. To Be Read, and Reread, and Reread Demaree puts the reader in the driver’s seat of emotional intuitiveness. He grasps to understand the world in a linguisticism bent enough beyond literal to become poetic without inducing catatonia as some poets might. This, alongside his residual body of work, is another instance of Demaree raising his voice (yet somehow calmly, without abrasion) above the crowd to share something worthwhile. It is upon us, as readers, to cherish such lyricism when it comes along.
—After the Pause
Many Full Hands Applauding Inelegantly is a tour de force. Written in three, devastating parts, these extraordinary poems astound me. Demaree is a poet’s poet, with a grasp of the human condition in all its glorious fragility. “I think it’s good for us, /to hear only a whisper of the divine/equations. We are better at grasping/than we will ever be at holding starlight.” he says in “All The Birds Are Leaving #54.” These poems, are as necessary as the air we breathe, they fly — with sound, arrows and wings — into the heart of the reader.
—Alexis Rhone Fancher, Poetry Editor of Cultural Weekly
This mountainous collection of poetry was rewarding to scale. Demaree weaves personal and human experience together, exploring themes of danger and hope, adversity and relationships, loss and mental illness. We join the author on this journey of discovery, learning more about the unknown “you” that follows along with us—at times intimate, friends or family, at times the poet himself, and at other times the reader. I enjoyed this book and found myself reading straight through titles and sections, letting the poems flow one into the next and form a picture that was worth waiting for. This collection will leave you pondering your own life in the bigger scheme of things, perhaps to conclude as Demaree does, to “never rise above a mountain that could be magic, if only we allowed it to be.”
—Ani Keaten, Unbroken Journal
Many full hands applauding inelegantly, by Darren C. Demaree, is a book of poems written from the center, how light enters a room usually from an angle, these poems, instead begin from the middle of the room and slowly find the jagged angles where light collects, giving form to the dust, the unseen of our lives. Darren subtly maps out the peripheral contours of human life, its ease and dis-ease, the collected bits and pieces of daily living, like a strong hand reaching deep into cold waters and pulling out the warm underbelly of a river, these works deliver themselves on a level that has much to offer, if you listen closely you can hear the chime of a resonant heart in motion, it is a life force on the move in each of these poems. One doesn’t walk away from this book, one walks towards it. And having seen what lies inside, stitched across each page, pulsing with life and all of the jagged undersides of the unseen, the unspoken, one can’t help but applaud, with the many full hands of the human heart.
In the newest collection by Darren C. Demaree, Many Full Hands Applauding Inelegantly, the narrator moves through three poetic sequences wherein the poems focus on the many forms contrast in this world, a world where we leave the chorus for the song, where we split ourselves apart from the impossible places we sometimes find ourselves in. Expansive in their compact form, these poems whisper straight-forwardly of violence, love, and a deep desire for home.
—Erin Elizabeth Smith, author of The Naming of Strays
“Darren is a dangerous dreamer, concocting love poems to his home state, and pastorals to his true love. But there’s always something more beneath the surface: sex and violence, villainy, mutilation, uneasy redemption and troubled ecstasy. These poems are pins pressed deep in the disfigured heart of America. They work a dark magic on the reader — they’re unsettling in necessary ways.”
“As you read through the poems of Darren C. Demaree, his prescient voice seems to grow in volume, each story clambering for more attention than the last. Yet, it isn’t that he is screaming from atop the mountain, but that everybody around has infinitely hushed to hear this whispering storyteller who speaks of little moments, glorious moments, moments “where the smooth sheet / of leaves & salt / will sugar us / into the un-lonely air”…as if each of us, is his guiding star, his sky, his Emily.”
—The Editors of Garbanzo Literary Journal