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Haywire: Poems (Swenson Poetry Award) Paperback – October 20, 2006


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Haywire: Poems (Swenson Poetry Award) + The White Museum + The Good Kiss: Poems (Akron Series in Poetry)
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Product Details

  • Series: Swenson Poetry Award
  • Paperback: 76 pages
  • Publisher: Utah State University Press; 1 edition (October 20, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0874216478
  • ISBN-13: 978-0874216479
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.9 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #324,032 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

George Bilgere is a smooth-talking poet whose ease of language can lead us unawares into a complex terrain of the heart and spirit. Haywire is full of bittersweet poems that are balanced between humor and seriousness, between the sadness of loss and the joy of being alive to experience it.

Whenever a parade of Bilgere poems goes by, I’ll be there waving my little flag.

Billy Collins, formerly U.S. Poet Laureate



This poet, you knew from his very first lines, didn’t fall for anything phony—his own language is irresistibly no-bullshit down to earth, even sassy. . . . Coming from one of the ethnic, industrial cities, his work has a gritty element. He recalls all the sorrows of a life—the drunken father, the parents’ divorce, his mother’s death, his unremitting horniness, his own divorce—nothing special, just what we all have to deal with one way or another. And yet he ends on an almost contented note. Haywire is remarkable for being an essentially happy book, though with an ironic eye cast on such happiness while children are starving. And when he arrives at this, we’re glad for him.

Edward Field, Judge of the 2006 Swenson Award

About the Author

George Bilgere has published three earlier books of poetry, The Going, Big Bang, and The Good Kiss. The Going (1995) received the Devins Award, honoring an outstanding first book of poetry. In 2002, U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins chose The Good Kiss as the winner of the University of Akron Poetry Prize, and also awarded Bilgere, along with Katya Kapovich, the 2002 Witter Bynner Fellowship. Bilgere’s poetry has appeared in many literary journals and anthologies. He has received grants in poetry from the National Endowment for the Arts and from the Ohio Arts Council and has been twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize. New work is forthcoming in Poetry, Field, Denver Quarterly, The Sewanee Review, and Southern Review. He lives in Cleveland, Ohio, where he teaches at John Carroll University.


More About the Author

George Bilgere has published six collections of poetry, most recently "Imperial." His "The White Museum" was chosen for the 2009 Autumn House Press Poetry Prize, and in 2006 George's "Haywire" won the May Swenson Poetry Prize. U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins picked "The Good Kiss" to win the University of Akron Poetry Prize. Collins has described him as "a welcome breath of fresh American air."

George's poems are featured on Garrison Keillor's "The Writer's Almanac" and Ted Kooser's newspaper project "American Life in Poetry." He has also been a guest on Keillor's "A Prairie Home Companion" live radio variety show.

George hosts a weekly radio show, WORDPLAY, an offbeat mix of poetry, comedy, and an ongoing exploration of the possibilities of the spoken word.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 13 customer reviews
I loved "Anniversary" and "The Table" and "What Would Jesus Do."
Joan Mazza
He takes risks that few modern, "established" poets are willing to take, and he succeeds to such a degree that he almost makes it look easy.
Michael Meyerhofer
A great poet can communicate all of the complexities of the world using regular 'ol language.
Jonathan B. Colburn

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Michael Meyerhofer on August 22, 2007
Format: Paperback
To highly recommend this book would be an understatement. I couldn't even count the number of times I've picked up a contemporary poetry book and found myself assaulted by the incomprehensible, pretentious verse of someone with too much cleverness and too little heart--but George Bilgere's "Haywire" is different. Here is a poet who not only walks, but glides with ease down that tightrope between accessibility and intellect, between entertainment and (dare I say it?) enlightenment. He takes risks that few modern, "established" poets are willing to take, and he succeeds to such a degree that he almost makes it look easy. All of this, in my not-so-humble opinion, is exactly what good poetry should do.

I also commend Bilgere on not being afraid to address the pink elephant that is pop culture, as he does in "Say My Name", "Simile Practice", and "Norelco". That's something modern poets still largely shy away from, in favor of archaic adaptations of the work of older poets (forgetting, in their ignorance, that these poems were modern when they were written!). But the poems I most admire in this book--"Petroglyphs", "What Would Jesus Do?", and "Waiting"--achieve that delicate blend of good humor and deep sadness that make them, in my opinion, both wonderfully effective and completely essential to the modern canon.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Alarie Tennille on October 12, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First I began noticing George Bilgere's name
on Writer's Almanac. I'm not good at remembering
names, but these were poems I passed along to friends
insisting, "You must read this!" Then I read "The Bridal
Shower." That did it. Bilgere had crawled inside my head
and stolen my unborn poem. Instead of pressing charges,
I ordered Haywire from Amazon. Now I'm stalking Bilgere,
waiting for his next book, watching for poems on-line,
and hoping someday to catch him live at a reading.

If you love poetry, you'll love Bilgere.
You'll love how he pulls in his audience by using accessible
language and wit to do extraordinary things--like putting
little bits of your own life on paper. He remembers moments
you thought you'd forgotten. And, if you don't love poetry,
read Bilgere. He'll change your mind.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Joan Mazza on October 6, 2008
Format: Paperback
HAYWIRE was waiting for me when I returned for the GR Dodge Poetry Festival last weekend, and in spite my having just bought books and falling way behind at my to-read stacks, I read HAYWIRE first. Wonderful poems. So touching and well-crafted. I keep re-reading them and asking myself why they are so good-- the shock/startle/aha of the endings, the understatement, the juxtaposition of elements, echoes, great details. All the things teachers tell you to do, AND done so well. When I read "Casablanca," I had a moment of confusion. Then realized, This is a fantasy! NONE of these things happened, which deepened the poignancy of the endings. I loved "Anniversary" and "The Table" and "What Would Jesus Do." And I flagged them to hand-copy to study some more.

Bravo! George Bilgere has me as a fan.
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By John Larkin on July 13, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the 3rd book by George Bilgere that I've downloaded. I love them all.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I like these poems even though I do not read poetry very often.

I found them to be clever and funny and very understandable. I like that the poems are not too philosophical (to the point where you wonder your sanity) but expressive enough that reflect his experiences and his personality. I gave it four stars because I wish it would include some of his other poems that I heard before, that I really liked.

Good Job!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
My male friends rolled their eyes at GB's book until I started sending them one of his poems now and then... Now they say he is the Fleet Farm of poetry.
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By David J. Cigler on August 30, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
His work is masterful. He has the same sense of humor I do so this stuff really works for me.
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