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Laughing Cult: Poems Paperback – June 17, 2014

4.3 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Two poems from Laughing Cult have been featured on The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor, "At the very lengthy meeting" (May 14, 2014), and "No problem" (June 6, 2014).

About the Author

Kevin McCaffrey is the author of the horror novel Nightmare Therapy. He works at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts.
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The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Four Winds Press (June 17, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1940423007
  • ISBN-13: 978-1940423005
  • Product Dimensions: 4.7 x 0.3 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,813,965 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Adult life--whose rigors these poems address from many angles--encourages us to suppress our most subversive, disquieting, upsetting, and perverse thoughts. Much of what we think and feel and dream, we cannot say at meetings, or to our children, or to our partners, or even to our friends, without violating norms or souring the shared mood. Even in the realm of poetry, the imp of the perverse is generally kept on a short leash in America today. McCaffrey's imp, however, runs free, and the results, in "Laughing Cult," will bear the pressure of many re-readings. It is McCaffrey's gift to to make poems that give great pleasure--and sometimes achieve real brilliance--using often frankly sophomoric premises. In so doing, he not only meets the poet's task of delighting and instructing, but provides a compelling respite from the stifling conformity of "serious" American poetry today.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Just a heads up that this book is very small, as in 5in x 8in (normal size) x 1/4 inch thick. The text is also tiny, as in 9pt or 10pt, so definitely not good for low-light conditions.

The content itself is pretty creative and uses a very full vocabulary - i.e., lots of big or unusual words. Also, a good portion of the book is written in open verse style, meaning most poems do not rhyme. For example, It's basically a paragraph of otherwise normal-sounding text that has been split into different lines to emphasize parallelism or concept. There is also a mild use of adult language in a few poems.

The poems themselves are a decent read. In general I would recommend it, though with the small size, I would be careful to evaluate whether its cost is justified.
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Format: Paperback
These poems are alternately astute, poignant, witty, and subtle. They deftly cut through the clatter of our times and speak to the disillusions, absurdities, and connections that comprise a life. McCaffrey's skilled use of poetic forms is a pleasure.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I heard "At the Very Lengthy Meeting" on Writer's Almanac, and decided to buy the book, expecting poems in the register of "Lengthy Meeting": zany, geared toward everyday experience, and good for a knowing smile. What I found, after reading through the book, was something altogether different. McCaffrey's poems range from the lyrical, musical, and light-hearted ("Blame it on the Lute") to the profound and deeply moving ("Philosophy du jour"); from the delightfully imagist ("Winter") to the delightfully quirky ("Fawn"). Awed by McCaffrey's skillful prosody, I could not help (at points) but think of the true master of poetry-for-poetry's-sake: Stevens. I really can't wait to see the next thing that this new and exciting poet has to offer.
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