Seriously Funny: Poems About Love, Death, Religion, Art, Politics, Sex, and Everything Else

Seriously Funny: Poems About Love, Death, Religion, Art, Politics, Sex, and Everything Else


Edited by Barbara Hamby, Edited by David Kirby

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  • Publisher: University of Georgia Press
  • Format: Paperback | 440 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 226mm x 30mm | 658g
  • Publication date: 15 April 2010
  • Publication City/Country: Georgia
  • ISBN 10: 082033569X
  • ISBN 13: 9780820335698
  • Sales rank: 1,052,003

Product description

This is an anthology of irreverence and humor in the hands of our best poets. Can serious poetry be funny? Chaucer and Shakespeare would say yes, and so do the authors of these 187 poems that address timeless concerns but that also include comic elements. Beginning with the Beats and the New York School and continuing with both marquee-name poets and newcomers, "Seriously Funny" ranges from poems that are capsized by their own tomfoolery to those that glow with quiet wit to ones in which a laugh erupts in the midst of terrible darkness. Most of the selections were made in the editors' battered compact car, otherwise known as the Seriously Funny Mobile Unit. During the two years in which Barbara Hamby and David Kirby made their choices, they'd set out with a couple of boxes of books in the back seat, and whoever wasn't driving read to the other. When they found that a poem made both of them think but laugh as well, they earmarked it. Readers will find a true generosity in these poems, an eagerness to share ideas and emotions and also to entertain. The singer Ali Farka Toure said that honey is never good when it's only in one mouth, and the editors of "Seriously Funny" hope its readers find much to share with others.

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Author information

Barbara Hamby's most recent book is "All-Night Lingo Tango." Her other books include "Delirium," which won both the Norma Farber First Book Award and the Kate Tufts Discovery Award. David Kirby is the author of "The House on Boulevard St.: New and Selected Poems," which was a National Book Award finalist. His other books include "What Is a Book?" and "Ultra-Talk: Johnny Cash, The Mafia, Shakespeare, Drum Music, St. Teresa Of Avila, And 17 Other Colossal Topics Of Conversation."

Review quote

"During a time when so many of our poets seem afflicted by mere self-importance and an almost-Pavlovian tic of irony, this book celebrates the other kind of funny--the sort that is mordant, absurdist, and keen to both laud and critique the madness and fascinating lunacy of our culture. Hamby and Kirby have assembled a bracing set of poems which remind us anew how closely heartbreak, humor and wisdom literature are aligned. These poems spring from necessity, not from the desire for punch lines."--David Wojahn, author of "Interrogation Palace: New and Selected Poems 1982-2004"