You Have to Laugh: New + Selected Poems

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9780981987699: You Have to Laugh: New + Selected Poems
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Poetry. Irish émigré poet Mairéad Byrne's provocative and unhinged YOU HAVE TO LAUGH showcases, for the first time in one volume, more than twenty years of groundbreaking poetry that ranges from taut lyrics, sustained narratives, prose and occasional poems, to high-wired sound texts. Byrne's brash energy, wry quips, and engaged bittersweet critiques of the overinflated language of consumerism and world-weariness elevate these poems from the laugh-out-loud funny toward understated pathos. The way the work integrates high cultural references with spoken-word intensity, while the syntax swerves with wildly varied diction, is sure to attract a wide audience even as it undermines easy categorization.

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About the Author:

Mairéad Byrne is the author of poetry collections THE BEST OF (WHAT'S LEFT OF) HEAVEN (Publishing Genius Press, 2010), TALK POETRY (Miami University Press, 2007), SOS Poetry (/ubu Editions, 2007), and Nelson & The Huruburu Bird (Wild Honey Press, 2003); and poetry chapbooks including State House Calendar, An Educated Heart, Vivas, Kalends, and The Pillar. Collaborations with visual artists include Jennifer's Family (photographs by Louisa Marie Summer), Lucky (illustrations by Abigail Lingford), and three books with Irish painters. Mairéad Byrne is the co-founder, curator and emcee for couscous, a poetry/music/performance series which has been running monthly for five years in Providence, where she is employed as Professor of Poetry + Poetics at Rhode Island School of Design.

Review:

Praise for The Best of (What's Left of) Heaven: I think what I like most about Byrne's poetry is that it makes me laugh like a monkey (baring my teeth, mad with fear, involuntary, like something being electrocuted) and like a human being (subsiding into my chair, telephoning someone to read it to them straight away) at the same time. --Luke Kennard

Praise for Talk Poetry: You could use this stuff for stand-up and STILL have enough leftovers to construct a small working Christopher Marlowe. --Jow Lindsay

Praise for Nelson & The Huruburu Bird: You can get almost wet with the air of these poems, they are so rich with the feel of the place, and honest. --Alan Dugan

Praise for Talk Poetry: You could use this stuff for stand-up and STILL have enough leftovers to construct a small working Christopher Marlowe. --Jow Lindsay

Praise for Nelson & The Huruburu Bird: You can get almost wet with the air of these poems, they are so rich with the feel of the place, and honest. --Alan Dugan

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