More About the Author
B is for Bad Poetry
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