At FLAVORTOWN's core is a sequence of poems that imagines a place called, well, Flavortown, an American culinary dystopia where Guy Fieri is patron saint and everything is painfully delicious and "authentic." The book juxtaposes the dispatches from Flavortown with portraits of the real-life Midwest, in the process exploring fatherhood, masculinity, and nostalgia.
"Because it is easy for me to get swept up and away in the joyously referential nature of this glorious book, let me first say that the writing in Flavortown is stunning. Touchable imagery, a playfulness and excitement around language that drew me in repeatedly. But, of course, I am also drawn to the world this book builds. A world of dairy queens and waffle houses. A stunning ode to the Midwest, a place more than worthy of such beauty." -Hanif Abdurraqib
"People who say they don't like poetry need an order of Danny Caine and a side of fries. I guarantee they won't stop at one fry, at just one poem - because Danny Caine is the poet laureate of the fast-food joint, of the diner, of the almost-special occasion, of visits to Waffle House at 2 a.m., of the love and loss and hope people process as the Food Network plays on in the background of another day. His poems explore the real ingredients of lives, the humor, the gaucherie, and even the promise of grace: Danny Caine reminds us that grace is there, there - over by the Weinermobile. His poems always crackle your soul as they end - the grace is the sauce, the taste left on your tongue. I should probably add that Flavortown is also an appreciation of Guy Fieri - the loudest, cookingest, Donkey-Sauciest everyman around - and a gentle inquisition of him too - it is, sure, of course - but this book is much more than that. This book is a family meal. Pull up a seat." - Daniel A. Hoyt
"Flavortown is a hilarious and unsettling dip into a hellacious society held hostage by a Willy-Wonkafied Guy Fieri. While the spiky-haired TV chef at the book's center is often lampooned, Caine asks readers to look past the flames and sunglasses, into the mystery of the man, his brand and empire. It's a wild carnival ride-only Caine could write a poetry collection that makes you feel like you're flying through a cloud of MSG down a highway strapped to the side of a donkey-sauce covered Wienermobile-and still, you'll walk away cradling your own heart in awe. For Caine is a poet who understands there is beauty, love, sadness, and humor to be found in everything from fatherhood and complicated heroes to the flashing neon lights of a chain restaurant calling you home." - Christopher Gonzalez