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Dan Kaplan is the author of Instant Killer Wig (Spuyten Duyvil, 2018), Bill’s Formal Complaint (The National Poetry Review Press, 2008), and the bilingual chapbook SKIN (Red Hydra Press, 2005). His work has appeared in American Letters & Commentary, VOLT, Denver Quarterly, Ninth Letter, Washington Square, Poetry Northwest, the anthology Flash Fiction Forward (W. W. Norton & Co.), and elsewhere. He is managing editor and poetry editor of Burnside Review Press. He lives in Portland, Oregon.


Instant Killer Wig
Spuyten Duyvil, 2018

"As I was reading Instant Killer Wig, the thought occurred to me that the book might simply—'poof'—disappear in my hands, because the poems got into my head—the way they shape shift through all the angles of uncertainty while seeking stasis in a time when the world is literally melting away underneath us. Our shapes and figures will never be united, if we want to be honest about it, and that's what these poems are: honest—yet at the same time, open to the beautiful, dissembling present moment, like looking at a vase full of flowers, knowing that they're both here and already gone. That's what makes them so beautiful."

Jennifer L. Knox

"Dan Kaplan's gustatory Instant Killer Wig gusts along. His deft touch endears. Each convivial page taps the shoulder, steers the elbow, lands—conspirator, reader—along your ear. Finely observed, Kaplan kills off the old creative writing saw. Weren't you born a writer when you learned to show not tell? Yet the grandest writers possess the courage to tell us how things are. And Kaplan's capgun is positively popping with wisdom's and witticism's flowers."  

Abraham Smith

Bill's Formal Complaint
The National Poetry Review Press, 2008

"In Dan Kaplan’s provocative new book, Bill’s Formal Complaint, we encounter American neo-surrealism at its finest in the form of Bill, the quirky representative of our privileged discontent with living. Bill immediately takes us everywhere and nowhere, flaunting his eponymous history, then leading us breathlessly into the netherworld of dream and the accidental beauties of miscommunication, only to escort us out of it with the same uncertainty....We can almost hear the ghost of Miroslav Holub, the great Czech poet, whispering from Pilsen a possible preface to this book: 'Mummy, come here, there’s a dead devil—' but what follows is the story only Bill can tell.”

Larissa Szporluk

“A chicken in orbit, an armless orchestra, all manner of objects wobbly and surreal, dire and dear, inhabit this haggard landscape of non-stop linguistic playfulness that flickeringly translates into Bill, or Billness, or Billessence—a life-like postmodern everyman whose languagey bits coalesce long enough to give voice to this unforgettable complaint. What a funny, crafty, wise, warm, virtuosic debut!”

Robin Behn


Red Hydra Press, 2005

Letterpress, bilingual chapbook produced by book artist Steve Miller in collaboration with artist Julio César Peña Peralta and translator Maria Vargas.



Recent Online Happenings
Poem at The Laurel Review
Another poem at The Laurel Review
Poem at Poetry Northwest
Review of Instant Killer Wig at Pleiades
Poem at Verse Daily
Poem at Paperbag
Another poem at Paperbag
Another poem at Paperbag
Another poem at Paperbag
Poem at Matter
Another poem at Matter
Interview at Entropy about Burnside Review Press
9.4.18: KGB Bar, New York, NY
4.22.18: Powell's City of Books, Portland, OR
3.31.18: Open Books: A Poem Emporium, Seattle, WA
3.9.18: Mother Foucault's Bookshop, Portland, OR
Poems Online from Instant Killer Wig
Verse Daily
Map Literary
NOÖ Journal
Black Warrior Review (online)
42 Miles Press
Spare Room
The Laurel Review
The Oregonian
Verse Daily
Poems Also Published in
American Letters & Commentary, Barrow Street, Bateau, Copper Nickel, Denver Quarterly, Flash Fiction Forward (W.W. Norton & Co.), Forklift Ohio, Indiana Review, The Laurel Review, Meridian, Mid-American Review, The National Poetry Review, Ninth Letter, NOÖ Journal, Octopus, POOL, Quarterly West, Salt Hill, Spinning Jenny, Third Coast, VOLT, Washington Square, West Branch, etc.