"Beware Kim Dower’s poetry. Again and again, this crafty writer invites you in for a casual chat and then wallops you. Her poem “Game Over” starts with a little comedy about squirting too much mustard on her hotdog; next thing you know, she’s wrestling with the existence of God.  Her fantastic new collection, “I Wore This Dress Today for You, Mom,” revolves around quotidian details of domestic life – washing dishes, doing laundry – but existential questions are always lurking beneath the surface. Her most devastating poems are about caring for a mother slipping into dementia. I read the collection last month and had to put it aside. Coming back to it this week, I’m wrung out all over again."
Washington Post

“Featuring gorgeous gems from Dower's four poetry collections and new pieces energized by the sheer power of her wit and irreverent style, "I Wore This Dress Today for You, Mom" will make readers both groan at and delight in recognition of the everyday absurdities and magical moments that add up to a lifetime of irreplaceable memories."

"...Celebrating a colorful mosaic of mothering moments that range from the spiritual to the practical, this poetry collection also pays homage to the matriarchs in her life, including her Russian grandmother, and their different mothering styles.
Widely admired for her ability to texturize the everyday with the sublime, Dower captures with poetic grace exquisite remembrances of childhood and the special pains and pleasures of mothering a child about to fly the nest. In "I Lost My Mother in Bloomingdale's," the author tries on a frilly bathing suit when she realizes with horror that her mentally fragile mom has left the store without any ID or money. The title poem, suffused with tenderness, touches upon the core of a mother-daughter relationship and the desire to please one's parent, while "There Will Be Things You Do" relishes the inherited behaviors that are passed on through generations. Dower explores female physicality with a splendid ode to breasts, thanking them for their companionship, and describes such mundane experiences as getting a root canal and doing the dishes with vibrant imagery."|
—Shelf Awareness

"Deftly constructed, inherently interesting, impressively insightful, thoughtful and thought-provoking, and truly memorable, poet Kim Dower's "I Wore This Dress Today for You, Mom" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, community, college, and university library Contemporary American Poetry collections."
—Midwest Book Review

“What we inherit from our mothers, what we carry forward, what we never receive, and what we choose to leave behind—Kim Dower’s poetry resonates with the echo of a rich and complex mother-daughter relationship that she gently and carefully unravels, line by line. This is a stunning collection from a poet whose wisdom as a daughter and a mother shines through on every page.”
—Hope Edelman, author of Motherless Daughters

“In Chinese, the written character for “mother love” is composed of two elements—”love” and “pain.” Kim Dower understands this universal concept in her bones and captures its meaning in these beautiful and powerful poems.”
—Lisa See, New York Times bestselling author of The Island of Sea Women



“A kind of miracle. . . wild with poetry’s particular fever . . . but, but, sometimes—tempered by a rich inner life, fed by wisdom and knowledge one gets walking up and down upon the earth with all of one’s senses fully alert. . . and this fever can turn into art, as it has, in poem after poem.”
—Thomas Lux

“Bold and sexy and smart.”
—Stephen Dunn

“Kim Dower’s poems speak not of the highs and lows, but about the grey space between tragedy and tenderness, memory and loss, fragility and perseverance – that space where the soul and the truest self live.”
Richard Blanco

“Sensual and evocative . . . seamlessly combines humor and heartache.”
—Los Angeles Times

“Unexpected and sublime.”
—O Magazine

“A moving blend of sexual experimentation and loss.”
—Library Journal

“More Billy Collins than John Ashbery and has some of the same sharp Southern California perspective as Joan Didion, driving down the freeway in The White Album.”

“Exquisitely crafted but the tool marks are invisible on the printed page, and each poem reads like an intimate conversation with the poet herself—bright and lucid, funny and sharp, and always full of life.”
—Jonathan Kirsch, Jewish Journal

“A dark chocolate fever dream of love, of mothers. Kim Dower dares you into the dark. You may find yourself lurking there.”
—Erica Jong

“Charming and compelling, accessible and profound.”
—Lisa See

“Jazzy, sassy, sexy—poems that move fast, are full of surprise and tweak the heartstrings like Arkhipovsky tweaks the balalaika.”
—Stephen Dobyns

“Witty, sexy, irreverent, touching, and disarmingly candid. Attuned to life’s quirky and endearing strangeness, [Kim’s] poems are, you guessed it, fun.”
—Charles Harper Webb

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