“Several serious mistakes have resulted from Dean Young’s absence during the events described in the first chapter of Genesis.”—Mary Ruefle
“Anyone with a heartbeat knows that Dean Young has become a crucial nucleotide in the DNA of American poetry. Who else can bridge the gap between the camps of the experimental and the humanist, jolting both awake in just the right way? Deeply, authentically committed to the surrealist tradition of poem-as-event, also fluent in the lingus Americano (french fries and beer), Young’s poems improvise, remember, and discover with an abandon which is furious, mind-boggling, funny, and heartbreaking. So often this poet seems to be holding life in his hands like a gorgeous slithery fabric, exclaiming over its astonishing texture and color, as well as its exorbitant price.”—Tony Hoagland
“The talky, impatient verse of Young’s fifth collection skids all over mainstream American culture and across the language, jumbling comic or startling phrases together in hot pursuit of comedy, shock or charm.”
“At his best -- as in the mock-instructional “Whale Watch” - Young makes one-of-a-kind, read-aloud poems from the verbal detritus he juggles.”--Publishers Weekly, 2/25/02
“Surrealism seldom seems as much like real life as in Young’s hilarious and cautionary poems.”--Ray Olson, Booklist, 2/15/02
“Skid is a wild ride, and it’s one worth taking.
. . . Skid is full of fablous, funny lines ..Young takes on topics as diverse as horses, death, love and the poet Federico Garcia Lorca, all with a sense of humor that is soften lacking in poetry today.
But the book is not without its more serious monents. In fact, these moments are all the more compelling for being placed alongside mentions of peacock attacks and fears of strawberries.”—Nancy Reddy, Pitt News, 4/17/02
“Young’s poems ignore and gently deride the familiar, anticipated forms of serious poetry--and in doing so they seem to present themselves as less equipped than, say, sonnets, to do their job --and then simultaneously deliver a message of thunderous emotional resonance.
. . .“Young’s poems are reason-defying but compassionate; the poems don’t alienate the reader but accommodate him.
. . .“For all his comedic effects, there’s some serious work being done here. Young’s work withstands and encourages such serious treatment.”—Sarah Manguso, Boston Review, feb-march 2003
“Dean Young’s poetry at once invites, repels, and surprises. . . . The scattered rush and push of ideas, the energetic narration, and the complex array of visceral images are complemented by moments of stark clarity. Incongruously realistic and surreal, frightening and funny, simple and complx, ‘Skid’ shocks us with portraits of our everyday lives.”—Hadara Bar-Nadav, Prairie Schooner, Summer 2004