American Poet: A Novel

american-poetFiction by Jeff Vande Zande

This coming-of-age tale centers on a young poet, who is ill-prepared for and frustrated by the hometown he returns to, where he fights with his father and with himself. Set against the backdrop of a broken city and a failed relationship, the novel champions poetry and the underdog — whether it be our seemingly-incompetent narrator, a baseball team, or a failing non-profit. With American Poet, Jeff Vande Zande has written a love poem for the city of Saginaw, and, by extension, a love poem for Flint, Gary, Cleveland, or any forgotten city in the Rust Belt.

Gina Myers

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. . . . 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 of Friends of Theodore Roethke

Novelist and poet Jeff Vande Zande of Midland, Michigan, has won the Saginaw Valley State University’s Stuart and Vernice Gross Award for Excellence in Writing by a Michigan Author. . . .  American Poet comes out of his experience as a poet, as a teacher, and as a transplanted advocate of Saginaw, declaring it “a city with a rich history that includes struggle, but also the seeds of its rebirth.”

Bottom Dog Press

American Poet: A Novel by Jeff Vande Zande
Bottom Dog Press
Publication Date: March 21, 2012
Price: $16.00 Paperback
ISBN 978-1-933964-53-9

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