Safe Word

by Donald Dunbar
Softcover / 135 p. / Poetry
ISBN: 978-0-9987362-3-5

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Donald Dunbar lives in Portland, OR, and is the author of Eyelid Lick, winner of the 2012 Fence Modern Poets Series prize, as well as a number of chapbooks. In 2016 he co-founded Eyedrop, a virtual reality design studio. He has helped run If Not For Kidnap: a PDX Poetry Concern, The Poetry Data Project, and has contributed to a number of other worthy projects. More information on these can be found at


Donald Dunbar, at his best, is better than Donald Dunbar. Damn right, he's better than yours. Even his worst lines are better than the best of the best being produced in reputable poetry factories from here to nowhere fast, all available online, and for a song! But that's not what you want to hear, is it? I didn't think so. So read this. This is the future of American poetry right now, and I'm willing to put your money on it, homie.

—Timothy Liu

What Donald Dunbar knows: the desert is peaceful, structure’s still pastoral, life is a mystery, how to help. Bernadette Mayer once asked, “Are poems like dream representations of the absolute beauty of the future?” Thanks to Ohio, et al, it’s harder every day to believe in that absolute beauty, but what else do you have to offer? Donald glitzes up the abyss with the browsing contrary shapes of these momentary incandescences, obscenely attractive strangers keeping a soft focus on the scalpel.

—John Beer

Reading Donald Dunbar is like getting high with Rosie from The Jetsons while a cosmic Facebook feed scrolls by outside the window. His voice is unique among modern voices— simultaneously crisp and cloudy, like a day.

—Patricia Lockwood