Coupled: A Memoir in Poetry centers on the important role of activism: life changes such as marriage, having children, relocating for family and jobs, and finding one's calling, along with being engaged politically in issues that matter.
“But where lies home?” David Kates asks in the first poem of his new collection. The rest of the book sketches a series of answers. Home is rooted in lineage, in place, in religion, in family, in ties that extend long after a beloved life has come to an end, and in the lives of the young ones still coming along. In a memoir built of poems, Kates meditates on the meaning of home, moving from broad themes (Israel’s struggles and its beautiful pluralism) to personal vignettes (the beauty and wonder and not-knowing of a new baby) to the work, the activism, that calls us forward in this world."
--Abram Van Engen is Stanley Elkin Professor in the Humanities at Washington University in St. Louis and co-host of the podcast “Poetry For All.”
"...The poems throughout this wide-ranging collection consider how change manifests itself as both physical and spiritual wounding. The poems explore the pain of losing a beloved parent, grief for a damaged natural world, joy (and exhaustion) at the birth of a child, and the frustrations of relocating to a new city. Ultimately, Kates argues, 'The ancient and modern / Must coexist' for healing to occur."
--K. Gordon, Ph.D., Professor of English, St. Louis Community College, Florissant Valley