"This work is unlike any other, in its range of rich, conjuring imagery and its dexterity, its smart voice. Carroll-Hackett doesn’t spare us—but doesn’t save us—she draws a blueprint of power and class with her unflinching pivot: matter-of-fact and tender." —Jan Beatty


russell dillonThis week’s Must Read author is Russell Dillon, is co-editor of Big Bell and author of the the full collection Eternal Patrol, and the chapbook, Secret Damage. His work has also been included in collaboratives and pamphlets, including Hail Satan, Group Show Anthology, CS13 Gallery Press, and Local News, in collaboration with poet Jason Morris and artist Jason Grabowski, Push Press. Russell is a poet, writer, editor, and educator who divides his time between San Francisco and New York.

Russell’s Website


Buy Russell’s Books

Eternal Patrol


Secret Damage


Praise for Eternal Patrol

If I were a sailor lost at sea, Eternal Patrol would be my lullaby, my dreamed-of rescue. I’d listen to Russell Dillon’s warning: “Living terrified of the sea, I had no way to keep / myself from drowning inland, truncated,” and I’d know that if I weren’t lost at sea, I’d be lost somewhere else instead. These poems ask us, according to myriad adventures, Who are we/you/I/they? But answering this question would be like pinning a butterfly to a museum wall, real morbid. So, in Dillon’s world, we’re shifters—­monster images cast upon ourselves, the empty box living in “somethingtude,” holding congress with the mighty wind.—Alexis Orgera

The difference between being lost and wandering is what you find, and what these elegant, heart-rending, fuckall funny and smart poems find again and again is deep shining truths and their own stellar vitality. Russell Dillon is a perpetually wandering poet with a keen eye for local glories and an ear for strange outbursts of song, a tender guide through the terrors, lurches, and sudden exultations of life.—Dean Young

“remember: / you are not in charge,” writes Russell Dillon in his gorgeous debut collection, where every line sutures the romance of recklessness with the fragility of glass. These poems feel like the deep-pile lining of a secret hideout—feathers, twine, glittering detritus in the tree’s highest, most improbable branch. This is what gets said after the breakdown has diffused, after the rash act has been committed, when the speaker finds himself in the afterglow, almost alone, advancing a kind of perpetual exchange. Eternal Patrol welcomes the reader into the charged dilation between fight and flight—a heavy, soaring, totalizing space that is not the answer to anything, but is thrilling, magnetic, and relentlessly beautiful.—Mary Austin Speaker

From Publisher’s Weekly

This sincere, winding, and attentive debut collection from Dillon explores a strange landscape in which our highly-attuned guide reminds himself, “Sometimes, I forget that you don’t see everything I see.” He invites his readers to shed reservations and engage with the universe at large: “The gods are half the myth,/ the other half is the believing.” With the poems’ urgency subtly underscoring their own necessity, Dillon’s music is part staccato, part crescendo, and totally operatic; but the notion of vocation is described in visceral terms: “You never wanted to sing/ before they wired the mouth shut,/ but after that, the desire was terrible.” We share in Dillon’s discovery of simultaneous beauty and hideousness—perhaps his greatest accomplishment here—and we’re implored to “Remember: the poison and its antidote/ are both synthesized from one mother venom. We can’t deny/ that.” These poems operate in the space of impossibility; we need look no further than his summarization of history’s every love letter: “What is it you’re unable to surrender, and please/ may I have that.” An intolerable vivacity lends the appearance of unquenchability, as if the poems continue to tick even with the book closed, and perhaps it’s best to consider each one representative of “a work in progress, like undressing/ an angel.”

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