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Poetry Lesson

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Poetry Lesson Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"Intro to Poetry Writing is always like this: a long labor, a breech birth, or, obversely, mining in the dark. You take healthy young Americans used to sunshine (aided sometimes by Xanax and Adderall), you blindfold them and lead them by the hand into a labyrinth made from bones. Then you tell them their assignment: 'Find the Grail. You have a New York minute to get it.'"--The Poetry Lesson

The Poetry Lesson is a hilarious account of the first day of a creative writing course taught by a "typical fin-de-siècle salaried beatnik"--one with an antic imagination, an outsized personality and libido, and an endless store of entertaining literary anecdotes, reliable or otherwise. Neither a novel nor a memoir but mimicking aspects of each, The Poetry Lesson is pure Andrei Codrescu: irreverent, unconventional, brilliant, and always funny. Codrescu takes readers into the strange classroom and even stranger mind of a poet and English professor on the eve of retirement as he begins to teach his final semester of Intro to Poetry Writing. As he introduces his students to THE TOOLS OF POETRY (a list that includes a goatskin dream notebook, hypnosis, and cable TV) and THE TEN MUSES OF POETRY (mishearing, misunderstanding, mistranslating . . . ), and assigns each of them a tutelary "Ghost-Companion" poet, the teacher recalls wild tales from his coming of age as a poet in the 1960s and 1970s, even as he speculates about the lives and poetic and sexual potential of his twenty-first-century students. From arguing that Allen Ginsberg wasn't actually gay to telling about the time William Burroughs's funeral procession stopped at McDonald's, The Poetry Lesson is a thoroughly entertaining portrait of an inimitable poet, teacher, and storyteller.

Review:

"Yet faced with time and mortality — the quintessential poetic subjects — Codrescu does what great artists have done for millennia: He tells stories, writes poems, and, yes, he teaches, despite "the familiar wave of futility" that washes over him when students depart and leave him in an empty classroom. Codrescu knows that we're goners, but he constantly yields to wonder — and that's what keeps a reader turning the pages of The Poetry Lesson." --Chris Waddington, The Times-Picayune

Review:

"Codrescu is a keen observer of the bathetic comedy of the aged rebel parading radicalism-nostalgia before indifferent youth. The latter take plenty of toilet breaks." --Chris Jones, The Times Higher Education Supplement

Synopsis:

"The Poetry Lesson is a must-have manual for emerging poetry-monsters; a book of caveats for the peddlers of "creative" snake oil; an archaeo-psychological scan of instantly obsolete technology; the memoir of a professor relectantly abandoning his sex fantasies; the collected portrait of deluded youth about to find out something horrific; an affectionate treatise on poetry as a cure of hubris; and a de profundis moan of flesh turning into fortune cookies" --Cover, p. 4.

Synopsis:

"The Poetry Lesson is a gem--a consistently engaging and entertainingly rambling meditation on teaching and poetry that is filled with Andrei Codrescu's quicksilver mental responses. His teacher-narrator keeps vacillating between denouncing the new, text-message order of his students and trying to ally himself with youth against old-fogeyism. This dance, as the teacher is alternately chagrined and amused, gives the book a lively pulse."--Phillip Lopate, author of Notes on Sontag

"Andrei Codrescu's new book is a small comic masterpiece. It is so funny that I laughed out loud as I was turning the pages. The account of the first poetry writing class of the semester is as accurate as it is surreal. What makes the writing so delightful is the juxtaposition of student repartee and the professor's jaundiced--but never predictable--response. The Poetry Lesson is a delightful read--but also a disturbing portrait of academe today."--Marjorie Perloff, author of The Vienna Paradox: A Memoir

Synopsis:

"Intro to Poetry Writing is always like this: a long labor, a breech birth, or, obversely, mining in the dark. You take healthy young Americans used to sunshine (aided sometimes by Xanax and Adderall), you blindfold them and lead them by the hand into a labyrinth made from bones. Then you tell them their assignment: 'Find the Grail. You have a New York minute to get it.'"--The Poetry Lesson

The Poetry Lesson is a hilarious account of the first day of a creative writing course taught by a "typical fin-de-siècle salaried beatnik"--one with an antic imagination, an outsized personality and libido, and an endless store of entertaining literary anecdotes, reliable or otherwise. Neither a novel nor a memoir but mimicking aspects of each, The Poetry Lesson is pure Andrei Codrescu: irreverent, unconventional, brilliant, and always funny. Codrescu takes readers into the strange classroom and even stranger mind of a poet and English professor on the eve of retirement as he begins to teach his final semester of Intro to Poetry Writing. As he introduces his students to THE TOOLS OF POETRY (a list that includes a goatskin dream notebook, hypnosis, and cable TV) and THE TEN MUSES OF POETRY (mishearing, misunderstanding, mistranslating . . . ), and assigns each of them a tutelary "Ghost-Companion" poet, the teacher recalls wild tales from his coming of age as a poet in the 1960s and 1970s, even as he speculates about the lives and poetic and sexual potential of his twenty-first-century students. From arguing that Allen Ginsberg wasn't actually gay to telling about the time William Burroughs's funeral procession stopped at McDonald's, The Poetry Lesson is a thoroughly entertaining portrait of an inimitable poet, teacher, and storyteller.

About the Author

Andrei Codrescu is an award-winning poet, novelist, essayist, and NPR commentator. He edits the online journal Exquisite Corpse and taught literature and creative writing at Louisiana State University for twenty-five years before retiring in 2009 as the MacCurdy Distinguished Professor of English. His recent work includes "The Posthuman Dada Guide" (Princeton) and "Jealous Witness: Poems".

Product Details

ISBN:
9780691147246
Author:
Codrescu, Andrei
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Author:
Codrescu, Andrei
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Subject:
General
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Poetry
Subject:
Literature: Primary Works and Letters
Subject:
Comparative Literature
Subject:
Biography-Literary
Publication Date:
20100931
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
1 line illus.
Pages:
128
Dimensions:
8.5 x 5.5 in 1 oz

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Biography » Literary
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Poetry » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Poetry » Criticism and Discussion
Humanities » Literary Criticism » General
Humanities » Literary Criticism » Poetry Criticism
Humanities » Philosophy » General

Poetry Lesson Used Hardcover
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$8.95 In Stock
Product details 128 pages Princeton University Press - English 9780691147246 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Yet faced with time and mortality — the quintessential poetic subjects — Codrescu does what great artists have done for millennia: He tells stories, writes poems, and, yes, he teaches, despite "the familiar wave of futility" that washes over him when students depart and leave him in an empty classroom. Codrescu knows that we're goners, but he constantly yields to wonder — and that's what keeps a reader turning the pages of The Poetry Lesson." --
"Review" by , "Codrescu is a keen observer of the bathetic comedy of the aged rebel parading radicalism-nostalgia before indifferent youth. The latter take plenty of toilet breaks." --
"Synopsis" by , "The Poetry Lesson is a must-have manual for emerging poetry-monsters; a book of caveats for the peddlers of "creative" snake oil; an archaeo-psychological scan of instantly obsolete technology; the memoir of a professor relectantly abandoning his sex fantasies; the collected portrait of deluded youth about to find out something horrific; an affectionate treatise on poetry as a cure of hubris; and a de profundis moan of flesh turning into fortune cookies" --Cover, p. 4.
"Synopsis" by , "The Poetry Lesson is a gem--a consistently engaging and entertainingly rambling meditation on teaching and poetry that is filled with Andrei Codrescu's quicksilver mental responses. His teacher-narrator keeps vacillating between denouncing the new, text-message order of his students and trying to ally himself with youth against old-fogeyism. This dance, as the teacher is alternately chagrined and amused, gives the book a lively pulse."--Phillip Lopate, author of Notes on Sontag

"Andrei Codrescu's new book is a small comic masterpiece. It is so funny that I laughed out loud as I was turning the pages. The account of the first poetry writing class of the semester is as accurate as it is surreal. What makes the writing so delightful is the juxtaposition of student repartee and the professor's jaundiced--but never predictable--response. The Poetry Lesson is a delightful read--but also a disturbing portrait of academe today."--Marjorie Perloff, author of The Vienna Paradox: A Memoir

"Synopsis" by , "Intro to Poetry Writing is always like this: a long labor, a breech birth, or, obversely, mining in the dark. You take healthy young Americans used to sunshine (aided sometimes by Xanax and Adderall), you blindfold them and lead them by the hand into a labyrinth made from bones. Then you tell them their assignment: 'Find the Grail. You have a New York minute to get it.'"--The Poetry Lesson

The Poetry Lesson is a hilarious account of the first day of a creative writing course taught by a "typical fin-de-siècle salaried beatnik"--one with an antic imagination, an outsized personality and libido, and an endless store of entertaining literary anecdotes, reliable or otherwise. Neither a novel nor a memoir but mimicking aspects of each, The Poetry Lesson is pure Andrei Codrescu: irreverent, unconventional, brilliant, and always funny. Codrescu takes readers into the strange classroom and even stranger mind of a poet and English professor on the eve of retirement as he begins to teach his final semester of Intro to Poetry Writing. As he introduces his students to THE TOOLS OF POETRY (a list that includes a goatskin dream notebook, hypnosis, and cable TV) and THE TEN MUSES OF POETRY (mishearing, misunderstanding, mistranslating . . . ), and assigns each of them a tutelary "Ghost-Companion" poet, the teacher recalls wild tales from his coming of age as a poet in the 1960s and 1970s, even as he speculates about the lives and poetic and sexual potential of his twenty-first-century students. From arguing that Allen Ginsberg wasn't actually gay to telling about the time William Burroughs's funeral procession stopped at McDonald's, The Poetry Lesson is a thoroughly entertaining portrait of an inimitable poet, teacher, and storyteller.

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