Alien vs. Predator (Penguin Poets)

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9780143120353: Alien vs. Predator (Penguin Poets)

WINNER OF THE BELIEVER'S READER SURVEY, BEST BOOK OF POETRY*SELECTED AS A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR:
The New York Times * Slate * The New York Observer * Commonweal * Books & Culture * Vol. 1 Brooklyn * Complex * The Millions  * The Australian

The debut collection of a poet whose savage, hilarious work has already received extraordinary notice.

Since his poems first began to appear in the pages of The New Yorker and Poetry, there has been a lot of excited talk about the fresh and inventive work of Michael Robbins. Equal parts hip- hop, John Berryman, and capitalism seeking death and not finding it, Robbins's poems are strange, wonderful, wild, and completely unlike anything else being written today. As allusive as the Cantos, as aggressive as a circular saw, this debut collection will offend none but the virtuous.

"Every once in a while, a book appears as if out of nowhere, uncanny in its authority, combining the shock of the new with the shock of recognition. Michael Robbins's Alien vs. Predator has given me a sense of what early readers of The Waste Land must have felt in 1922, what it must have been like to pick up a copy of Wise Blood at the bookstore in 1952."--John Wilson, Commonweal
"You don't get the instant satisfaction you might expect from a poet hungrily stalking the moment; Robbins's poems have their own distinctly contemporary appeal: They slowly develop into embarrassing pictures of ourselves. They aren't just shiny and fun, they're also sharp -- which makes them quite dangerous."--The Boston Globe

"
The first important poet whose work can be appreciated only with an Internet connection, Robbins is a lot more than the first 'Google poet.' He is also a significant new poetic voice and, quite possibly, a living poet with a chance of developing a genuine popular following."--The Weekly Standard

"If later John Ashbery and David McGimpsey have proven that capitalist popular culture is a suitable subject for poetry, Robbins goes a step further and attempts its formal mimesis. And he does it really goddamn well."--The National Post

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From the Back Cover:

"These poems are viciously inventive. Faster than you can rhyme stegosaur/megastore, Robbins code-switches between the English Canon and Top Forty: Nirvana and Blake, The Clash and Yeats, creating a political and social commentary that will make the hair stand on your head." -- Ange Mlinko

"You may notice the cultural references first -- Guns N' Roses, Eric B. & Rakim, Fleetwood Mac, M*A*S*H, Star Wars -- and be tempted to tie Robbins to these anchors. But there are as many contemporary references in Eliot and Pound and Horace as there are in Robbins: carbon-dating isn't what distinguishes these poems. Robbins works in traditional and nontraditional forms that pivot on the beat, which he turns around, seamlessly and ruthlessly. The thread here is a long-distance conversation crammed into the available enjambment, as charged as the pop songs that play beneath the words." -- Sasha Frere-Jones

"From the wild mixture of pop-culture and the English poetic tradition arises the voice -- brave, direct, brilliant, arrogant, unforgettable voice -- of a poet whom Catullus would recognize, whom Mayakovsky would welcome. This is a poetics that whips up the tradition and lashes 'a slap in the face of public taste.' Robbins is unafraid to bring back vulgarity -- that saving, generous, musical vulgarity which abruptly awakens us from our longish sleep-time in America. Yes, Michael Robbins is a rascal. The sort of rascal Francois Villon used to be. He takes no prisoners. His music is brutal -- and also intricate, rigorous, unpredictable. Mothers of America! let your kids read some of this wild, brave, real verse." -- Ilya Kaminsky

About the Author:

Michael Robbins was born in Topeka, Kansas. His poems and criticism have appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry, Harpers, The London Review of Books, The Village Voice, and several other journals. He received his PhD in English from the University of Chicago.

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