After the Hatching Oven scrutinizes the world of a most unlikely hero: the common chicken. We are launched into their evolution as a domesticated species; their place in history, pop culture and industrial agriculture; their exploitation and their liberation. These poems relish in the mastery of language and intensity by which Alexander has thought his way into the very cells of his subjects through riffs on ad campaigns, news stores, public health advisories, poems, movies and self-translations.
“The chicken—that afterthought in a world, and poetic landscape, so tuned to flight and song. Except in David Alexander’s unique and assured debut collection, we see this passed over specimen assume a quiet, then profound, then timeless grace. In poems that are both freewheeling and socially incisive (often at once), the chicken’s burden to be caged within a world we think we own achieves, along with Alexander’s poetic gift, artistic liftoff. After the Hatching Oven is a vital paean to freedom. It soars.”