Deadline Poet: My Life As a Doggerelist

Overview

"Could there be anyone else who was inspired to write poetry by the presence of John Sununu?" Maybe so, but only Calvin Trillin came up with a piece of verse called "If You Knew What Sununu." Ever since it appeared in print, in 1990, he has been a weekly gadfly in verse for The Nation, delighting readers with his rhyming observations on the news of the day. As his deadline approached every week, his inspiration came from, among many others, George Bush ("You did your best in your own way, / The way of Greenwich ...
See more details below
Available through our Marketplace sellers.
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (36) from $1.99   
  • New (1) from $50.00   
  • Used (35) from $1.99   
Close
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
$50.00
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(113)

Condition:

New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

New
Brand new.

Ships from: acton, MA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Close
Sort by
Sending request ...

Overview

"Could there be anyone else who was inspired to write poetry by the presence of John Sununu?" Maybe so, but only Calvin Trillin came up with a piece of verse called "If You Knew What Sununu." Ever since it appeared in print, in 1990, he has been a weekly gadfly in verse for The Nation, delighting readers with his rhyming observations on the news of the day. As his deadline approached every week, his inspiration came from, among many others, George Bush ("You did your best in your own way, / The way of Greenwich Country Day") and H. Norman Schwarzkopf and Saddam Hussein and Jerry Brown and Clarence Thomas and Ross Perot and Princess Diana and Zoe Baird ("She'd done this deed to get au paired") and Robert Dole and someone called Wanderin' Willie Clinton, who sings the "I got the movin' to the middle 'cause it's slip'ry on the edges blues." Here, in prose as sparkling as the verse that accompanies it, Trillin describes his evolution from a "special-occasions poet" into a deadline poet, and comments on the events that inspired his weekly verse. The result is an irresistible entertainment that also turns out to be an antic history of three years of American life that were particularly rich in material for someone who describes his job this way: "The news presents a motley little band / That I observe, tomato in my hand."

Could there be anyone else who was inspired to write poetry by the presence of John Sununu? Since 1990, the author of Remembering Denny has been a weekly gadfly in verse for The Nation, delighting readers with his rhyming, one-of-a-kind observations on the events of the day.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In an irreverent, hilarious romp, Trillin (Uncivil Liberties) wraps a running political and cultural commentary around the weekly topical verses he has written for the Nation since 1990. His barbed satirical poems and accompanying essays find their mark in deflating Quayle, Ross Perot, "Republonazi'' David Duke and Margaret Thatcher. There are also witty verses on the Supreme Court's rightward drift, the reunification of Germany, Madonna, Father's Day and Princess Di. Trillin's coverage of the Bush-Clinton contest points up the triumph of image in presidential campaigns. Clinton's NAFTA legislation, his health care plan and his lurch to the center lead Trillin to observe that "Presidents sort of blend together, somewhere in the middle. . . . This seemed particularly true of Bill Clinton and George Bush.'' (Apr.)
Library Journal
Most people know Trillin (Remembering Denny, LJ 3/15/93) as a columnist and essayist writing with humor and perception about a whole range of issues both political and personal. Most of his 16 books are collections of such essays tied together with anecdotal material that further add to our enjoyment. This collection is no different except that Trillin gathered a series of poems he wrote each week for the Nation starting in 1990 and continuing through President Clinton's first summer in office. Trillin's first political verse "If You Knew What Sununu'' launched a new career for him, which included an unsuccessful bid for the position of poet laureate. Gathered here are poems that celebrate famous people who take themselves too seriously. As always, Trillin amuses and offers a lighthearted look at our world. Not an essential purchase, except where Trillin has a following. Collections of contemporary political science might also want to consider.-Denise Sticha, Carnegie Lib. of Pittsburgh
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780446671309
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication date: 6/28/1995
  • Edition description: Warner Books Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 196
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.91 (h) x 0.58 (d)

Meet the Author

Calvin Trillin
Calvin Trillin
A humorist in the tradition of Mark Twain and Robert Benchley, Calvin Trillin has been offering up his sly observations to magazine readers for decades, as a political "doggerelist" (The Deadline Poet) and columnist (Uncivil Liberties). He has also uncapped his pen to discuss the joys of family life and the pleasures of chasing down the perfect meal. Anna Quindlen, writing in her New York Times column in 1991, called him “a man who disembowels pomp with such a good-natured sword.”

Biography

As a religion reporter, Calvin Trillin showed himself as something of a Doubting Thomas.

He was working for Time in the 1960s, and he didn't much like his assigned beat. So, he turned to one of the standard tricks of a good reporter: He hedged. "I finally got out of that by prefacing everything with 'alleged,' " he told Publishers Weekly. "I'd write about 'the alleged parting of the Red Sea,' even 'the alleged Crucifixion,' and eventually they let me go."

Fans of Trillin's writing -- his snapshots of ordinary U.S. life for The New Yorker, his political poetry in the Nation, his search for the ideal meal with his wife good-naturedly in tow -- will recognize his style in this early exercise in subversion. He is warm, gentle, and human, but there can be a dash of mischievousness for taste. Even the unwelcome sight of a brussels sprout at a buffet provoked his ire. Turning to his wife, he said, "The English have a lot to answer for."

Humorist Mark Russell took note in the pages of The New York Times in 1987: "Mark Twain, Robert Benchley and [S. J.] Perelman are dead, but Calvin Trillin is right there with the post-funeral cocktail to assure us that life goes on."

Born in Kansas City but transplanted to the West Village of New York City, Trillin has kept in touch with his midwestern roots for much of his writing. A collection of articles from The New Yorker on so-called ordinary murders from around the country became the book Killings, called by The Wall Street Journal "one of the most low-key, dispassionate, matter-of-fact books on murder ever produced."

In its review, the Los Angeles Times said: "He may be The New Yorker's finest stylist, and his writing is quite different from the careful accretion of detail that characterizes much of the magazine's writing. Trillin omits as much as he possibly can; he leaves spaces for resonating, like a guitar string stopped and kept mute to sound the overtone from the next string down."

In Travels with Alice he writes of looking for hamburgers on the Champs Elysées in Paris. Even in a classic New York story, Tepper Isn't Going Out, he writes not of theater or restaurants or even a rent-controlled apartment equidistant between Zabar's and Central Park. Instead he seeks out deeper pleasures: finding the perfect parking space, and holding onto it.

Humor is a Trillin trademark. He began writing a humor column for The Nation in the late 1970s called Uncivil Liberties that became two book collections. In 1980, The New York Times chuckled gratefully at his first novel, writing that "the antics around the nameless news magazine in...Floater are as funny as The Front Page and as absurd as playground pranks."

In 1990, he began treating Nation readers to a new column, a weekly spot of verse on the political hijinks of the day, pieces with names like "If You Knew What Sununu." This, too, became a book, The Deadline Poet: My Life as a Doggerelist. He even shares insights into the creative process: "A fool is fine. A pompous fool's sublime. / It also helps if they have names that rhyme."

Trillin's résumé has a sense of elasticity: journalist, novelist, humorist, satirist, poet. But there is a commonality to his work: It's approachable. And The Washington Post's Jonathan Yardley points out that, for a journalist, this may be the toughest feat of all.

"Calvin Trillin is like an old shoe," he wrote in a 1998 review of Trillin's Family Man. "Whatever he may be writing about, he always makes you want to slip into it and get comfy. This may seem like a modest compliment, but it is a high one indeed. Few tricks are more difficult for the journalist to pull off than being consistently likable and engaging, making oneself and one's little world interesting and appealing to others."

Good To Know

Growing up in Kansas City, Calvin Marshall Trillin was known as Buddy.

The family name was originally Trilinsky.

He staged two one-man shows showcasing his humor in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Read More Show Less
    1. Also Known As:
      Calvin Marshall Trillin (full name)
    2. Hometown:
      New York, New York
    1. Date of Birth:
      December 5, 1935
    2. Place of Birth:
      Kansas City, Missouri
    1. Education:
      B.A., Yale University, 1957

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)