Stark Raving Dad

Poems for the Frazzled Parent in All of Us


By Sanderson Dean

Formats and Prices




$18.50 CAD



  1. Hardcover $14.00 $18.50 CAD
  2. ebook $9.99 $12.99 CAD

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around May 7, 2019. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

Finally! The pain of parenting . . . in poetic form! Stark Raving Dad is an illustrated collection of poems (no claims of being Walt Whitman here) that humorously captures fatherly angst in comedic verse and pairs it with “talented” art from the author’s own kids.

Let’s be honest: Most gifts for Dad usually end up being a golf club or a tie. But what about the Dad in desperate need of a laugh? Give him reassurance he’s not the only father trying to figure it all out.

Over the years Sanderson Dean has turned all his fatherly angst into poetry, accompanied by crudely drawn images by his children. But before your eyes glaze over at the word “poetry,” you should know it’s more hapless than highbrow. From surviving road trips to being puked on, and from plunging clogged toilets to finding Craisins in the couch cushions, Sanderson covers many of the rarely talked about adventures that make the journey of parenthood so very exciting.



Dear Dad,

Fatherhood is an amazing adventure. Unfortunately, by the fourth sleepless night, you probably won’t remember any of it. Suddenly you’ll have a lot on your hands—like germs, spit-up, and probably snot. Only a strong sense of self-preservation can get you through. That, and conveniently overlooking loaded diapers.

Sadly, kids don’t come with instructions—and frankly, we probably wouldn’t read them anyway. In my case, the kids wouldn’t sleep. They wouldn’t eat. They wouldn’t stop crying. They kept making messes. And they still don’t flush the toilet. (Sound familiar?)

After years of listening to my whining, my wife challenged me to do something more constructive with my angst. And now you’re reading it! Everything here is based on real life, real joy, and real torment. Even the artwork is real—compliments of my kids.

Inspiration came one afternoon while plunging a toilet… for the second time that day. When I shared “Ode to the Plungerman” with my family, it was an instant hit. Apparently, everyone loves to laugh at Dad’s pain. Now, after more than four years of capturing all my experiences in the form of poems, I feel like it’s time to share my bitter, cathartic humor with all the other Stark Raving Dads out there. Misery loves company, and let’s face it: you’re not the only frazzled parent picking Craisins out of your couch cushions.

Welcome to the club,

Your Fellow Frazzled Dad



Okay, so you’re a parent. Now what? There’s no manual. There’s no do-overs. And there’s definitely no breaks. These are poems about those quiet times… when Dad realizes there’s also no escape.

Go with the flow.

But keep your plunger handy.

Stark Raving Dad (Adage)


My wife finally made her point

It took forever


No you can’t have that


What are you guys getting into?


Stop hitting your brother


Wait, is that gum?


I’ll help you in a second


Give me the stick


Where’d you get that?



Always grabbing

Always clinging

Always sticking

Where have they been?

What have they touched?

When were they clean?

Now they’re here

Rubbing my face

Your hands letting me know

We share everything

Like your runny nose


Here I sit upon the throne

How I wish I was alone

First comes one kid, then the cat

Then comes pounding

What was that?

It used to be a quiet time

A place of solace, not a crime

No one questioning whilst I sat

Now everyone’s wondering

Where I’m at

I miss the past, when mine was mine

Including all my bathroom time

More frantic knocking

C’mon, what’s wrong?

I mumble that I won’t be long


Warm and wet

I hear the splatter

But I’m too numb

For it to matter

Liquid spreads across my chest

Drips that haven’t come to rest

I wipe your tears

I share your sighs

Two weary souls

With muffled cries

Plaintive eyes and burning head

Abandon thoughts of sleep and bed

No more wondering if you’re sick

I hug you close

And feel us stick


I stare

Lost in the glare

Of bright, fluorescent light

So many options, so many offers

So many pitfalls late at night

So many sizes, so many styles

So many selections to get right

So many categories, so many colors

So many covers to compute

So many containers, so many catchers

So many collectors—for poop


The future looks up at me

With a hopeful smile

And the question sits

The charge of parental duty

For more rainbow sprinkles

Or temper fits

These choices in life

Define us

And tension mounts

These tests of resolve

Shape us

And seconds count

The moment tense

I can’t be wrong

My decision swift—

Go ask Mom


A footstep

A giggle

A jump on the bed

A moan

A crash

A thump in the head

A scream

A bark

A cereal spill

A fight

A bite

A threat to kill

A screech

A curse

A bang on the wall

A grumble

A groan


To your Sunday morning wake-up call


  • "Funny, relatable poems on what it's really like to be a parent. I laughed. Then I curled up in the fetal position."—James Breakwell, author of Only Dead on the Inside and Bare Minimum Parenting
  • "The sh!t that drives parents crazy . . . in poetry form! This is laugh-out-loud fun for everyone."—Dawn Dais, bestselling author of The Sh!t No One Tells You: A Guide to Surviving Your Baby's First Year
  • "Everything about Stark Raving Dad demands to be read -- the hilarious kid art, the all-too-recognizable moments of parenting, even the layout. I recommend that parents lock themselves in the bathroom with Sanderson's book, stealing moments of sanity."—Leanne Shirtliffe, author of Don't Lick the Minivan and Mommyfesto
  • "The poems in Stark Raving Dad are witty and hilarious. It's the perfect book for Dad to sneak into the bathroom to keep him entertained during his 45-minute-long poops. (Seriously, why do Dads take so long to poop?)"—Deva Dalporto, MyLifeSuckers

On Sale
May 7, 2019
Page Count
128 pages
Running Press

Sanderson Dean

About the Author

Sanderson Dean has been an Emmy Award-winning writer/producer/creative in the television and film advertising business for more than two decades. He is a husband and proud father of two boys who serve as his poetic inspiration. Find him online at

Learn more about this author