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Shame / Shame Paperback – April 14, 2015
The Amazon Book Review
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"We all want to know what happened to Huck after he decided to "light out for the Territory"--my own sense is that 150 years later, a little sadder and a whole lot wiser, he emerged as Devin Becker." - David St. John
"Single-author poetry collections are usually named after particular poems or lines in them, less often thematically. But Becker takes the latter tack in his engaging first book of prose and free-verse poems. ..." -Ray Olson, Booklist
maybeabout not humiliation but existential embarrassment, the conviction that surely being human shouldn’t entail the feelings it does. . . . Besides prose poetry, Becker has also mastered e. e. cummings’ skinny, crawl-down-the-page poem, to similar, gotta-read-it-again effect."
"When God was still too young to know any better, he touched 'THE VOID,' which, 'in a rush to fill the space His finger left,/...sent out a universe in ripples.' It shamed God that He'd disturbed perfection. He needed a toy. What He came up with (and then discarded to us) was the world Devin Becker evokes in these uncommonly intimate pages. If there are items in Becker's life too small or humbling to elude his gift for turning them into irresistible news, not one of them has slipped past him into the graces of this, his first (extremely welcome) book."
"Devin Becker has written a drop-dead funny book about desolation, isolation, self-punishment, and shame. Only one for whom humor is a necessity really understands humor. Jokes can be a means of survival and almost redemptive if they make inchoate private suffering communal through its expression, and, like poems, the vitality of jokes depends on rhetorical skill, emotional authenticity, luminous intelligence, and impeccable timing-all characteristics of Devin Becker's writing that makes it so engaging and moving and exhilarating."
About the Author
David St. John: Over the course of his career, David St. John has been honored with many of the most significant awards for poets, including fellowships from The National Endowment for the Arts, The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, The Rome Fellowship, an Award in Literature from The American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, the O. B. Hardison Prize (a career award for teaching and poetic achievement) from The Folger Shakespeare Library, the George Drury Smith Lifetime Achievement Award, and a grant from the Ingram Merrill Foundation. His work has been published in countless literary magazines, including The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Poetry, American Poetry Review, Harper's, Antaeus, and The New Republic, and has been widely anthologized. David St. John is the author of ten collections of poetry, as well as a volume of essays, interviews and reviews, and is co-editor of American Hybrid: A Norton Anthology of the New Poem. He currently teaches at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.