Equal parts humorous and devastating, Ben Kline's Dead Uncles investigates the lingering impacts that formative family experiences can have years later.
“A great chapbook drills deep, yielding such vibrant detail that we cannot help but inhabit the world built before us. That’s the case of the bracing, strangely beautiful Dead Uncles, which proposes a reality (and sur-reality) of a sprawling, intergenerational family whose bonds are inflected by sexual transgression. One dead uncle casts a spell for killing barn mice; another keeps his hold on local office thanks to votes tallied from the ‘Cemetery Precinct.’ Material that could seem grim in another poet’s hands is set a-glimmer here by formal dexterity, bold humor, bright images, and musicality of phrasing.”
— Sandra Beasley, author of Count the Waves
“In Dead Uncles, Ben Kline renders a portrait of a family that ‘you must suspend all disbelief’ to know: one intergenerational in the matter-of-fact inclusion of its ghosts whose stories are told as if they never ended—as if this book itself were the old recipe or the spell or the secret passed down to keep them alive.”
— Clair Dunlap, editor of Vagabond City Lit