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B Is for Bad Poetry Hardcover – October 6, 2009
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More About the Author
By Pamela August Russell
B IS FOR BAD POETRY ($9.95 / 9781402767876 Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.)is a collection of Pamela August Russell's unexalted (but thoroughly hysterical)
poems that mock, accuse, defy, undermine, and point and laugh at the world around us--and at anything that takes itself too seriously. Her non-canonical oeuvre includes: "Tea For Two (A Tragedy"; "Inappropriately Touched By An Angel"; "Love Is Like A Toilet Bowl" and many more. But don't be fooled, these are well-crafted and intelligent poems. Miss Russell breathes new life into the genre by making it genuinely accessible without dumbing it down.
When the nightly news has you hiding under the covers, Pamela August Russell's wry, sardonic wit is here to help navigate the delicate world around us. Miss Russell writes bittersweet, mercurial and very funny poems about the hazards of love and the economy: "Capitalism Can Fall Not Like I Fell for You"; love and commercialism: "But L'OREAL Said I Was Worth It."; or love and failure: "A Beginners Guide To Mediocrity." B IS FOR BAD POETRY is a collection of poems from a new voice that is supremely witty and delightfully engaging. Who knew bad poetry could be this good?
So forget Shakespeare. Don't count on Donne. Shelley and Keats: banished! There's absolutely no poet laureate from the golden or any other age. Fawning PhDs in love with little-understood verses by long-dead writers should go elsewhere, this is poetry for the rest of us. Look out Dorothy Parker, there's a new girl on the chopping block!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Pamela August Russell has published short stories and poetry in several anthologies including Virgin Territory and most recently Nothing Moments. She co-founded The Better Off Dead Poets Society in San Francisco. This is her first book of bad poetry. She lives in Los Angeles near the freeway.
What the hell they're saying about B IS FOR BAD POETRY!
"Nothing lasts forever--except a poetry reading." -Anonymous
When Poetry Goes Bad On Purpose -LA TIMES
"There is a certain anxiety around high art. What are those opera singers
saying? Is that Giacometti sculpture a little unsettlingly skinny? Is
Stockhausen supposed to sound this way? And if I don't like something,
does that mean I don't get it? Poetry too. Maybe especially poetry. But with
"B is for Bad Poetry," Pamela August Russell does away with those fears. It's
all bad. With titles like "Despair, Party of One," "Popeye, Hamlet & Sartre
(A Rendering)" and "Donner Party Review," it couldn't possibly be good --
could it? The poems are so deliciously bad they're fun.
And I recognized a few genuine poetry referents -- e.e. cummings here,
Rainer Maria Rilke there -- it might just be that there's a little bit of serious
poetry play giggling behind the scenes.
The giggler is Pamela August Russell, a writer who, her bio says, "lives in
Los Angeles by the freeway." That's where all of us writers go when we're
not visiting museums, attending concerts or trying to read the subtitles at
the opera. " -Carolyn Kellogg
Pamela August Russell takes the poetry establishment head-on in
her new book of deliberately "bad" verse. In truth, only a gifted
and widely-read poet could manage so thorough a
deconstruction of the defensive elitism and deliberately abstruse
poetic canon. But don't worry about that now, just grab some of
your own criminally cringe-worthy couplets and join the author at
tonight's open mic celebration of all things simplistic, low-brow,
and sketchily rhymed.- Shana Nys Dambrot
SKYLIGHT BOOKS -Silverlake Staff Pick -January 2010
"Fantastic! Please, do not be fooled by the title. This is
some of the best poetry I've read in a long time. It feels like
it was written by the bastard child of Richard Brautigan
and Dorothy Parker. It's razor sharp one minute, low-brow
the next, and passionately sorrowful in the minute that
follows, but by the end you will be vomiting in hysterics. A
great read and a great gift for anyone that can read." -Jade
"What a novel idea."
Daily Candy pick of the week!
LA TIMES MAGAZINE - 'MAKING MATTERS VERSE'
"In B Is for Bad Poetry, Pamela August Russell takes aim at not
only the vicissitudes of love and life but the highfalutin tone and
form of classical verse itself. Her sardonic poetry jam--more deft
than def--includes such gems as "Schadenfreude Encore," "Sandy
Dennis Briefly" and "But L'Oréal Said I Was Worth It." Her bio
informs us this is her first book of bad poetry and that she currently
lives in Los Angeles..."near the freeway." -Mayer Rus
"Great poetry is transcendent, but Pamela August
Russell proves the other side of the coin also has its
charms in reading from her new collection, "B Is for
Bad Poetry," a bent look at modern life featuring
original works with such titles as "Nietzsche and the
Ice-Cream Truck" and "A Beginner's Guide to
Mediocrity." It may not be Whitman, but Russell's
verses are often a whole lot funnier." January 7, 2010
Top Customer Reviews
Let me explain. (I promise not to uncover all the poetic gems). On page five, I was treated to "A Beginner's Guide to Mediocrity" (one of the things I am completely scared of becoming). The last stanza was "Don't bother getting out of bed...The world is crowded enough...without you and your big ideas." I ask you, how frightening is that? For someone with very large ideas, like myself, I shook from that paragraph as much as when Norman Bates was playing dress-up in his mother's clothes.
I went further and opened another door to a poem titled, "Motto". Short, sweet, and to the point. This poem really fits the moments in life when you try with all your might to tell your boss you need a raise. He nods his head in understanding. His paycheck has gotten smaller btoo ecause there's just not enough in the company's coffers right now. He continues by saying that he'd like to discuss this more indepth with you, but he has to get up to his summer house to make sure the new builders have installed the hot tub properly.
You can even go back to your happy, jolly school days with a poem in this book titled, "College Notebook." As my senior daughter is graduating next May, I thought long and hard on this one.Read more ›
Russell's approach to poetry mirrors my own. I once wrote a poem about lemurs after being specifically requested to do so, though my effort pales next to the grace, dignity, and poise present in all of Russell's works. I have several favorites in this collection, notably "How to Save a Tangerine From Suffering", "The Trouble With Starfish", and "Plate Tectonics and Us". But perhaps her most sublime wisdom can be found in the masterwork "Letters to a Young Poet", which reads "I would stick with R and M / and your choice of a decent vowel / preferably A." What else is there to say? Pamela, you give me chills.
So all I can say is that I love this book! I have bought it for several of my friends and they all love it.
We even sat around at a dinner party reading our favorite poems to each other.
The book brings irony to a new height - about 5 feet!
This book is the perfect stocking stuffer!!
Pamela Russell is a genius!
I want to hang out with her!!
"Poetic Injustice" was funny, a bit cynical, but I guess that comes with being in the business.
"Urbane Decay" was sad and beautifully written
"Inappropriately Touched By an Angel" is all kinds of highlighted in my copy, lines like the following deserve to be colored in pink highlighter:
Years later, while clipping my toenails,
I discovered I was the mirror of the universe.
"Finally!" she screamed. "You should get out
and create a few scars, kiss a few lips,
you know, go on living. An never count a woman out
until she swallows huge amounts of aspirin.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was a gift for a 17 year old teenage girl. I personally didn't read the book, but it was a huge hit as a gift.Published 23 months ago by C. Suitor
the book was packaged well.....received timely for Christmas giving...grandson has already sent a thank you note for the gift and tells how much he likes reading and rereading... Read morePublished on January 7, 2014 by C J
Only poetry that KNOWS it's bad is good Poetry! I should know, I'm a middle school librarian and I've seen LOTS of bad poetry!Published on December 10, 2013 by KDDOG
I love this book. Such a cute little find! Russel calls the poetry bad, and it did have its moments, but there were also great pieces of wisdom buried in there!!Published on October 2, 2013 by Dkfksscksk
I saw this little nondescript book with the Nancy Drewesque cover shelved betwixt the like of Barry, Franken, and the Zombie Apocalypse survival guide de jour. Read morePublished on September 22, 2013 by Derek Schultz
This book is so amazing! The poetry is fantastic and endlessly entertaining! The author's writing is witty and so much fun to read.Published on July 25, 2013 by KP