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A Lion at a Cocktail Party [Kindle Edition]

Michael Hogan
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Praised by William Stafford, W.S. Merwin, Richard Shelton and others, this collection of prose poems by Michael Hogan is now in its third revised edition. The original was published by Mary McCarthy of Gallimaufry press in 1978 and was a collection of prose pieces edited by George Hitchcock (1914-2010). Many had appeared in Hitchcock’s magazine Kayak (1968-1988) which published Raymond Carver, Charles Simic, Robert Bly, Kenneth Rexroth, Margaret Atwood and others. Hitchcock especially enjoyed Hogan’s prose poems for their "surrealistic imagery on the one hand, and their fabulist simplicity on the other." This edition includes nine previously uncollected prose pieces and was put together by volunteers in Arizona who with the blessing of Michael Hogan worked to see that the book was put back in print along with new additions for Kindle.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Michael Hogan was born in Newport, Rhode Island. He is the author of twenty books including the historical best-seller, The Irish Soldiers of Mexico. His work has appeared in numerous periodicals including the Paris Review, the Iowa Review, New Letters and the Harvard Review, and New Letters, as well as in many anthologies such as Thirty Years of the Pushcart Prize, ed. by Joan Murray. (Pushcart Press ,2006); Literature, ed. by Robert Diyanni, (Random House, 2001); Sound and Sense, ed. by Laurence Perrine and Thomas Arp. (Harcourt, Brace, 1996), and One Hundred Great Essays (Penguin, 2013). His many awards include fellowships from the Alden Dow Creativity Center, the Colorado Humanities Program, and the National Endowment for the Arts, two Pushcart Prizes, as well as the Grace Stoddard Literary Fellowship from the University of Arizona, and a career commendation for outstanding service by the Office of Overseas Schools, U.S. Department of State. From 1990 to 2004 Hogan headed the English Department at the American School Foundation of Guadalajara, A.C., served as faculty advisor to the school’s internationally recognized literary magazine, Sin Fronteras, and as a professor of International Relations (1996-2000) at the Autonomous University of Guadalajara. Since 2004 he has been a consultant to the College Board in Latin America, and to the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Overseas Schools. Hogan lives in Colonia Providencia, Guadalajara, with the textile artist Lucinda Mayo, and their Dutch shepherd, Molly Malone.

Product Details

  • File Size: 138 KB
  • Print Length: 59 pages
  • Publisher: KPD (April 22, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,283,692 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Full Round August 26, 2013
Back in 1978 A Lion at a Cocktail Party was the talk of Arizona literary circles. Michael Hogan gave us struggling writers hope for he pursued his own original voice, one quite at home in the desert---distinctive and apocalyptic yet easy to follow and impossible to dismiss. Re-reading the collection thirty-five years later, I see these prose poems are, at their heart, political in intent, seeking to embrace larger truths capable of turning our everyday denials into "a grim folk tale to remind us that nowhere is safe and that monsters do indeed roam the world." Beware of his conversational tone for it hides a trickster-coyote whose form of witness turns the alleged logic we live by into its inhuman absurdity.
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5.0 out of 5 stars really , really worth the read. January 29, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was almost put off with the first article, no, it is not an article. The first short story, no, it is not a short story, although it is very short. The first item, no, that doesn't get it either. So, I read the next one, well, one isn't right either, but I started to get a handle on what was happening and then it was time to go to sleep. I awakened thinking about the elevator ride, I had often wondered if jumping when it crashed to the ground would save me, I realized that one more time Michael Hogan got me with his prose poem. That's it, a collection of prose poems that I read a few at a time, and then, consumed, couldn't put it down and finished the book in one reading. It is a venture into the authors mind and musings and fully engrossed me. I gave it five stars because it deserves it.
I see why it has survived the test of time.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
"If you want to understand paranoia, read Michael Hogan's book," is what Gracie Slick said upon reading A Lion at a Cocktail Party. However, this prose poetry compilation goes well beyond paranoia: it's a tour de force that journeys through most every mental condition known to man. But that is not the peculiarity that makes Hogan's work so engrossing, it's the fact that the reader will feel identified with the characters and situations in it. With every turn of the page, there is a riveting story brimming with dark humour, social critique, and compelling wit. Though bizarre is a word that comes to mind when reading through A Lion at a Cocktail Party, there is also another which overshadows it, and that's revealing. Not only does the author expose some of his most latent fears (at least until now), but he slyly manages to target society and turn the attention to our most destructive behaviors and vices. The growing consumerism, the corrupt and dated social systems as well as the authoritarian bureaucracies of corporations, are issues that the author spoke out about in the mid-Seventies. The part that sends chills to the bone is that not much has changed since then, except perhaps that we have been moving in retrograde. Between an OCD housewife who cannot stop cleaning for her life, exponentially multiplying boxes, a modern take on colonialism, and a firm believer in the power of stones, A Lion at a Cocktail Party will compel your mind to ponder, debate and question. It will haunt your mind to the point in which you will irrevocably return to its surreal pages. Read it if you dare.
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More About the Author

Michael Hogan is the author of twenty-two books, including two collections of short stories, eight books of poetry, selected essays on teaching in Latin America, two novels, and the best-selling Irish Soldiers of Mexico, a history of the Irish battalion in Mexico which formed the basis for an MGM movie starring Tom Berenger. His latest non-fiction work, Savage Capitalism and the Myth of Democracy: Latin America in the Third Millennium, has been praised by Noam Chomsky who wrote:"These lucid and thoughtful essays provide a valuable picture of Latin America from a point of view that is perceptive, often controversial, but always instructive." His newest novel, A Death in Newport, has delighted readers of international intrigue and police fiction.

In 2012 Winter Solstice: Selected Poems 1975-2012 was published with a revealing introduction by Sam Hamill. This long-awaited collection included poems from the Paris Review, New Letters and the American Poetry Review as well as selections from out-of print-chapbooks. Also in 2012, his memoir, Newport: A Writer's Beginnings was released. Here the reader observes Hogan's early influences as well as his youthful encounters with Eisenhower at the Summer White House in Newport, and JFK at Boston College.

Dr. Hogan's work has appeared in many journals such as the Paris Review, the Harvard Review, Z-Magazine, Political Affairs and the Monthly Review. He is the former director of Latin American initiatives for the College Board, and a special consultant to the U.S. Department of State's Office of Overseas Schools. Hogan has worked as an Humanities Department Head for fourteen years in American schools abroad and as a professor of international relations at the Autonomous University of Guadalajara. He has given workshops and presentations at conferences in the United States, Canada, Malaysia, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Uruguay, Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina.He currently lives in Guadalajara, Mexico with the textile artist Lucinda Mayo, and their dog, Molly Malone.

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