What others are saying about The Dice Throwers:
"With perceptive, trenchant realism, Douglas Cole’s The Dice Throwers offers tough and resilient poems that map waymarks over an anxious urban wilderness. Through an intense engagement with place, wrought in concise language, keen images are printed on the reader’s mind, “the soul hesitating,” “crying for birth” “like a surging wind cut down / through the narrow / fist of a tunnel.” Cole pulls the reader in, leading us, like Dickens’s Christmas ghosts, down city streets with “wind keening through abandoned homes” where “wasted washed out eyes / look right through you,” out of “disheveled souls.” Amid such backdrops we might witness our own duplicitous gaze reflected in the neon-lit windows and dark rooms of Cole’s verse. Often elegiac, the speaker in these poems navigates a world of fatal mistakes – “a miss-filled prescription,” a father “struck dead by a car.” But we are not left with despairing voices, for there is redemption, even if only in small measures: “Bear up, my friend, this / darkness will not last forever.” Indeed, a pained beauty threads throughout Douglas Cole’s The Dice Throwers, a sweeping, heartfelt, and skillfully rendered collection."
-Jeffrey Alfier, Editor, Editor of the San Pedro River Review, winner of the Kithara Book Prize for Idyll for a Vanishing River (2014)
Dark angels haunt the corners of every page of Douglas Cole’s collection, The Dice Throwers. Ghosts tumble through this journey rarely blinking at snake eyes, only glimpsing light when “…sunlight falls / intermittently on the walls…” at another’s passing. There are lives “plucked from disaster …” with darkness yet to come, apparitions with “hair a wild cloud…” who transform into “…a violent discourse of pure / energy sparking another dawn.” And when you travel deep enough, you find the girl with “…light falling from her palms” and know you’ve finally come home.
-M. Scott Douglass, Publisher/Editor of The Main Street Rag
Douglas Cole’s poems are crystalline moments of precision and wonder. They speak of things hidden, sinister spaces which give way to wondrous experiences, inhabited by people both lost and looking. At the center is a floating “I” not simply interested in observing people and the world through current, fixed states, but through an ever-changing, fluid poetics, where the quotidian brushes up and is informed by the strange, and the search is not something where one attains, but is rather something never-ending.
-Charles Kell, Senior Editor of
The Ocean State Review
The Dice Throwers is an intoxicating collection: these poems take an unflinching look at the marginalized, overlooked-in-plain-sight and show how their pain is universal. Haunting images and stark language immerse the reader in a journey to the edge of this life full of ghosts, nightmares, and the desire for redemption.
-Ann Przyzycki, Editor of Isthmus