Boox by Joel Brouwer

The larger point I’m interested in is the question of the book of poems, as opposed to the poetry book. I’m interested in this question because it comes up a lot in my conversations with poets — especially younger poets — about the book publishing market. I am not arguing against “poetry books” that seem all of a piece in one way or another. Nor am I advocating for “books of poems,” which would be more like miscellanies.

Full post over at Harriet.


  1. thomasbrady said,

    September 9, 2009 at 3:44 pm

    What do the following books of poems have in common?

    Marbles by E.L. Glasseye
    Turtles of Tupelo by Theodore Shell
    Movie Poems I Have Long Loved by Buffy Film
    Poems of 22 Syllables by I. M. Funn
    Purple Clouds by Mary Mist
    Wonderful Sonnets by H. Pisst
    Pounding My Williams by Robert Line
    Things N’ All by George Thing
    Porch Sitting by Mary Animal
    Green Things At Midnight by Teddy Triton
    Lavish Tendrils by Frieda Mason Jones-Touch
    Great Guns At Dawn by Tiny S. Finch
    Search The Sea by Carl Crashing
    This Way My Thesis by James Locking-Down
    In A Hurry by Richard Haste
    Tall Grass Poems by X.E. Mow
    Sharper Than Ever by Daniel Knife
    Bestial by Rose Fairy
    Frustrated by Garrick Nodding Grease
    Fungus by Finny Fortune

    Stumped? They all contain poems on apple pies! Mmmm. However, some of these apple pie poems are good and some are bad. This is what we should be most concerned with. Questions?

  2. poetryandporse said,

    September 9, 2009 at 4:29 pm

    Joel’s an Eng prof of po-biz in Alabama. His first book won two prizes and his route into the intellectual construction of what constitutes success in poetry; shows in this post, where he is fixated on what is essentially, irrlevent o the business of writing poems. Prizes, gimmicks, hooks, selling points: a commercial focus imbalance.

    It shows in his writing,

    Brouwer’s 1500 words for 50 bucks, his seventeenth offering, pondering on what reads to the random reader we all wish to have buying us on the strength of chancing across us at the agora, rtrading free and alone as an individual practitioner in the dispicable art of lying for a hobby, job, career, OT: hermetically sealed and subsidised po-biz, with a crystalline etiquette favouring academic circles, rather than directing the two winged horses within which steer and print without – the inward life of an artistic mind, before the colloquist jobber, jangling a patter saying little on the mystery of language, and with lots of superficial posturing on what’s irrelevant – in the business of making a poem breathe: risen from within, uhindered by considerations of how it’s to appear after the act of mimesis is executed and an object, excercise, try, practise at writing, has left us with one more to spin – live and in print.

    A nice guy, but no coconut – thus far.

  3. rperlman1951 said,

    September 9, 2009 at 5:53 pm

    I have no time to read these long posts and comments, but wanted to bring everyone’s attention to a book by Joan Houlihan. It is just out from America’s most prestigious poetry publisher, Tupelo Press. Her work has inspired me to make a donation to editor Jeffrey Levine for his brilliant eye and ear for talent.

  4. thomasbrady said,

    September 9, 2009 at 8:15 pm

    I, too, would like to sing the praises of Joan Houlihan’s wonderful new book of poems, “a formally fractured poetic sequence spoken by a chronically nomadic people.”

    The nomads are lovingly rendered in the fractured dialect which thrives on the tongue of this race, which Ms. Houlihan brings to life in ways which will delight all lovers of nomads.

    Here’s an exquisite example:

    Her bowl? Feed me empty.
    Her colding? Ay am forgot.

    Isn’t that wonderful? Nomads everywhere will be proud. Ay could go on, but ay won’t.

    Purchase the book, won’t you?

    Jeff Levine, indeed, knows excellence when he sees it, and what a gift to us all that he astutely discovered excellence in Joan, his Colrain colleague!

    I’m so excited!

    I’m going to go lie down now.

  5. bluehole said,

    September 12, 2009 at 2:06 pm

    thomasbrady, Is it true there’s a coupon for $605 off a full-manuscript review by Jeffrey Levine (normally $900)? I heard it’s printed right on the back cover of Houlihan’s book, and if I send it to Tupelo, along with my own manuscript, I can skip the first round of readings for the Dorset Prize? Also, when is the next Houlihan/Levine full manuscript review in the round house? I, too, want to learn what it means — not to be judged by one’s writing — but rather by what favors I can trade. And I’m willing to pay to do it.