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I Was the Jukebox: Poems Hardcover – April 5, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 90 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition (April 5, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393076512
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393076516
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.6 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,178,798 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

More fun than most recent books, Beasley's second collection can also get quite serious: in the best parts, the poet pretends she is any number of nonhuman things—a jukebox, an orchid, the Egyptian god Osiris, an eggplant (in a sestina), grains of sand. She also writes love poems to big ideas: Love Poem for College begins You hit on me. You hit on everyone. Beasley portrays the sometimes chaotic landscape between sex and love, youth and adulthood, the young men and women who hope for everything and the grownups who settle for less. For an hour I forgot my fat self./ My neurotic innards, my addiction to alignment, says the piano, remembering when she was played. In Another Failed Poem About Music, even the name of a percussion instrument, triangle... is a perfect betrayal. Beasley can sound regretful, but also flirtatious: You are the loneliest of the three bears, she says in Love Poem for Wednesday, hoping/ to come home and find someone in your bed. If Beasley's conceits owe something to Kenneth Koch, her tone and her subjects might place her with chick lit, too: this is a book that could go a long way. (Apr.)
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Review

An excerpt: "More fun than most recent books.... If Beasley's conceits owe something to Kenneth Koch, her tone and her subjects might place her with chick lit, too: this is a book that could go a long way."
--Publisher's Weekly

“Succeeds (to a tremendous level) at creating fascinating slices of reality and interesting characters.”

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Armand Aisselle on June 20, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
LOVE POEM FOR LOS ANGELES may be the best poem very written about this place.

Overall this book is absolutely a must. Make no mistake: Sandra Beasley's world is what Sir Paul McCartney once called "the world in which we live in." You will not find an escape route from reality in "I was the Jukebox." These poems are not consciousness replacement therapy. Instead they have that intriguing quality of great art: They sharpen the mind.

Sandra Beasley's writing reminds me of François Hemsterhuis' definition of The Beautiful (which also happens to be my definition): "that which gives us the greatest number of ideas in the shortest space of time." These poems have an abundance of perceptive and original irony, and what is most unusual in our era: real wit, without meanness, sloppy comedy or scatology. The concern they exhibit for language per se -- both for its follies and for its hidden implications -- almost reminds me of Wittgenstein. Every statement she makes contains the DNA of a question. Sandra Beasley has her own way of pushing the envelope, of making the reader uncomfortable in his or her complacency of thought. So much the better. The experience is invigorating.

Spend a short space of time with "I was the Jukebox," and I assure you, you will want to spend a longer one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By SG on May 7, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love this writer. Her poems are intimate cameras, held at odd angles, and pointed in odd places. Her language is masterful. I am certainly no expert in poetry, but I know what I like, and Beasley makes me say to myself, "yes, that is exactly how to say that".

I hope she continues to evolve and write. I already can't wait to buy her next book.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jon S. Wesick on April 9, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I heard Sandra Beasley read at Iota in Arlington and was so impressed that I bought her new book. Her poems have a playful, surreal quality. I enjoyed her riffs on mythology such as in "Another Failed Poem About the Greeks." The last section of the book is darker and more poignant. "Exits" is powerful.
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More About the Author

Sandra Beasley is the author of Don't Kill the Birthday Girl: Tales from an Allergic Life, a memoir and cultural history of food allergies, as well as three poetry collections: Count the Waves; I Was the Jukebox, which won the 2009 Barnard Women Poetry Prize, selected by Joy Harjo; and Theories of Falling, which won the New Issues Poetry Prize judged by Marie Howe. Her poetry has appeared in Poetry, Virginia Quarterly Review, The Believer, Tin House, and The Best American Poetry 2010. Her nonfiction has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post Magazine, Oxford American, and Psychology Today.

Awards for her work includes a 2015 Literature Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, two fellowships from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, and the Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award from Poets & Writers.

Beasley serves on the faculty of the low-residency MFA program at the University of Tampa. She lives in Washington, D.C., where she coordinates literary events for the Arts Club of Washington. For more information, please visit www.SandraBeasley.com, follow her on Twitter @SandraBeasley, or check out her Author page on Facebook.

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I Was the Jukebox: Poems
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