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B Is for Bad Poetry Hardcover – October 6, 2009

4.7 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Pamela August Russell started off her writing career in third grade when she won a statewide short-story contest. Sometime later, she moved west to San Francisco where she created the Better Off Dead Poets Society with her partner Alison Gallant. Together, they made their way through the spoken word circuit and garnered a cult-like following. Russell was also a regular reader and host at the infamous Sister Spit in San Francisco. She has published short stories and poetry in several anthologies, including Virgin Territory and Nothing Moments. This is her first book of poetry.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 118 pages
  • Publisher: Sterling; First Ed 1st Printing edition (October 6, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402767870
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402767876
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #671,850 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By M. Lignor on October 24, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Finally! A title that exactly fits a book. No, no...I'm not being mean. With every turn of every page I was met with sarcasm, cynicism -even enthusiasm - any "ism" you can think of, really. In fact, when you read closely, you can see each aspect of your own life spread out on its pages - the dark and funny side that always hits us right between the eyes - whether we're paying attention or not.

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.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is my new bathroom book. You know the one you leave in the bathroom that guests pick up and maybe look at briefly and wonder why you have relegated this book to a life spent around fecal mist and toothpaste stains. Imagine your guest on the bowl, start howling with laughter for apparently no reason. When they come out, they all exclaim, what the hell is this all about? Who writes bad poetry? Well let me tell you, it takes a genius to create a book of bad poetry that actually is quite brilliant. Pick this up for your wittiest friend to prove to them that yes, "you get it", or for that someone we all know who takes everything a bit too seriously. This is the most refreshing little book I have read in a long time. Does Ms. Russell do parties?
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Format: Hardcover
Having always preferred prose to poetry, I was hoping that Pamela August Russell would finally make it worth my while to invest in a book of poetry, and she certainly did. "B Is For Bad Poetry" is a book of poetic works that finally touched my non-fiction-reading heart. She is expressive and artistic; alliterative and iambic; hilarious and maudlin, all in one slim volume.

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.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Okay, so I bought this book as an impulse buy, while going through a poetry binge, I bought three other books with this one, one of which I had been dying to read. However, Bad Poetry has been the book I've gone ahead and read over again; The book I recommend to others. I think what made it great as that it was at once serious, and funny. It had lighthearted poems, but every now and again you'd get a line, a stanza that would leave you thinking, "WHOA" whereas, some of the other books i bought were heavy and unrelentingly serious. It should be noted that I have nothing against serious subject matter, but after going through three books like that, this was a welcome reprieve.
"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.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An ironic little collection. A few of them made me laugh out loud.

Like 'Mata Hari.' "No one will ever know - you were the worst kisser - in the world. - Even if they put a gun - to my head - and force me to say it in a poem."
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I had seen excerpts from this book on Tumblr and just had to buy it! It contains various poems that are absolutely hilarious. I would definitely recommend it to my friends, and many have actually read my copy and decided to purchase their own! I look forward to more from this author.
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