The poems in Degan Davis’s debut collection, What Kind Of Man Are You, move between the title’s societal taunt (prove yourself) and its more tender and inquisitive question (how to be a man in this era?). Davis has guts; he trusts the voice of a poem to draw out those truths that in lesser hands might render us mute. The writing navigates the spaces between traditional male archetypes and 21st century possibilities, through the lenses of music, tribes, war, divorce, sex, and love.
Davis is both impish and an old soul, and his poems are as comfortable riffing on big topics as they are when he’s maneuvering language with a musician’s cadence. As a result, the work is instantly engaging and thoroughly human. Why read Degan Davis? Because his work is full of joy. Because, to him, poetry matters.
Praise for What Kind of Man Are You:
“… Rejecting both rhetoric and brute force as supreme, this book lives as equally in the heart as the mind. It’s had a drink or two with Lowell, Bly, and Carver. It’s found a church of sorts in jazz and blues. As readers, we find ourselves witnessing this sensitive exploration during an historical moment in which What Kind of Man Are You may emerge as one of the most urgent questions.” — Stevie Howell
“If you could strip us of our insolent and taciturn practices, deny us our drunken and garrulous escapes, and encourage our tongues to talk the truth, these are some of the things men might say about what, and how, they feel.” — Michael Winter
What Kind of Debut are You — Canadian Literature
What Kind of Man are You — The tEmz Review