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Why Things Burn: Poems Paperback – May 10, 2001


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 150 pages
  • Publisher: Soft Skull Press; First Edition edition (May 10, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1887128654
  • ISBN-13: 978-1887128650
  • Product Dimensions: 0.4 x 6.5 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,864,927 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"...a wickedly smart sense of humour, edged with the pain of human fallibility...Clever, fun, and deep all at once." - Jennifer Joseph, San Francisco Bay Guardian "Her poems have the complexity and depth of character that you expect from a good novel. She can also use everyday situations to create extraordinary verse.""-Bay Area Reporter

About the Author

Daphne Gottlieb is a prolific performer and promoter. She is a big favourite in the San Francisco poetry scene and has toured her poetry across the United States. Her previous collection was Pelt (published by Odd Girls Press) and she also writes a column for Metroleum, a popular website.

More About the Author

San Francisco-based Performance Poet Daphne Gottlieb stitches together the ivory tower and the gutter just using her tongue. She is the author and editor of nine books, most recently the poetry book 15 Ways to Stay Alive as well as co-editor (with Lisa Kester) of Dear Dawn: Aileen Wuornos in her Own Words.? She is the editor of F**king Daphne: Mostly True Stories and Fictions and Homewrecker: An Adultery Reader, as well as the author of the poetry books Kissing Dead Girls, Final Girl, Why Things Burn and Pelt, and as the graphic novel Jokes and the Unconscious with artist Diane DiMassa.

Final Girl was the winner of the Audre Lorde Award in Poetry for 2003 from Publishing Triangle. Additionally, Final Girl was named one of the The Village Voice's Favorite Books of 2003, and received rave reviews from Publisher's Weekly, The San Francisco Chronicle and The Village Voice. Why Things Burn was the winner of a 2001 Firecracker Alternative Book Award (Special Recognition -- Spoken Word) and was also a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award for 2001. Her work has been translated into Turkish and Greek, and has inspired theatrical adaptations and DJ-remixes.

Recent press has praised her work as "fierce," "unapologetic," "scorching" and "deliriously gutsy." She has been widely published in journals including The Utne Reader, Tikkun, nerve.com, mcsweeney's.net, Exquisite Corpse and Instant City. Her work has appeared in a number of anthologies including Live Through This: The Art of Self-Destruction, Word Warriors: 35 Women Leaders of the Spoken Word Revolution, Don't Forget to Write!, Half Life: Jew-ish Tales from Interfaith Homes, With a Rough Tongue: Femmes Write Porn and Short Fuse: A Contemporary Anthology of Global Performance Poetry. She is also the cover girl on San Francisco Noir (Akashic Books, 2005).

Besides anchoring three national performance poetry tours, featuring with Maggie Estep, Hal Sirowitz and Lydia Lunch, Gottlieb has also appeared across the country with the Slam America bus tour and with notorious all-girl wordsters Sister Spit. She has performed at festivals coast-to-coast, including South by Southwest, Bumbershoot, and Ladyfest Bay Area.

Until 2006, she served as the poetry editor of the online queer literary magazine Lodestar Quarterly. She also was the poetry editor of Other Magazine and a co-organizer of ForWord Girls, the first spoken word festival for anyone who is, has been or will be a girl, which was held in September 2002.

Gottlieb teaches graduate-level creative writing, and has also performed and taught creative writing workshops at all levels around the country. She received her MFA from Mills College.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A. Liebling on January 5, 2002
Format: Paperback
Daphne Gottlieb, a popular San Francisco-based slam poet, is the master of provocation through words. Her second book, Why Things Burn, made me so uncomfortable and rattled, that I couldn't put it down until I finished, and it still stayed with me for weeks after. It leaves deep impressions from its shocking imagery, surprises, and dark humor. These are poems that submissively go down on you, pleasing for awhile, before suddenly biting down with searing agony. Within this slim book packs power that I have seldom experienced from anything else. I highly recommend it for everyone.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kerry Reid on March 18, 2003
Format: Paperback
I have a difficult time with the "poetry slam" concept, having seen too much truly awful work in those venues over time. And I've never seen acclaimed slam poet Daphne Gottlieb perform. But this collection stands up on the page. "You break it, you bought it" is an entire Dorothy Allison novel in two pages -- or The Glass Menagerie written from Laura Wingfield's point of view, .... Gottlieb also has a fine ear for vernacular and how to translate it into "found verse," as in "Aunt Irene Tells Time," which also shows her sly sense of whimsy. There's no grandstanding or posturing here -- just a strong, smart voice searching for answers and occasionally howling at the pernicious and vicious forces that get in the way of beauty and love.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By "blissengine" on July 24, 2001
Format: Paperback
Gottlieb's invigorating poetry is fierce, humorous, insightful, and full of impact. Ranging in themes, this collection is a marvelous addition to anyone looking for something out of the ordinary. My favorites include "A Guide to Kissing in Public for Lesbians" (which blends in lessons fo CPR), "Mastering the Art of Poetry" (delicious), "Shotgun Wedding" (quite moving and poignant). My edition is different than the one offered here, with pictures of Gottlieb. The cover is a lot more arresting.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mckenzie K. Mcgehee on July 6, 2001
Format: Paperback
I had the privledge of meeting Daphne Gottlieb and hearing her poetry in person. After the show I was lucky enough to talk to her. I immidately came home and bought Why Things Burn and Pelt. They are all excellant. I find myself captivated after every poem. This is definately a book I'm going to read over and over.
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