Donkey Gospelby Hoagland
Award-winning poet Tony Hoagland's work sparkles with effervescence, a jujitsu cleverness--a "wise-guy" aesthetic. Through unexpected subjects ranging from the boy who speaks only in "Kung Fu" dialogue, to a man visiting a lesbian bar, Hoagland gives us a sense of finally being able to say the truth about the credentials of manhood. See more details below
Award-winning poet Tony Hoagland's work sparkles with effervescence, a jujitsu cleverness--a "wise-guy" aesthetic. Through unexpected subjects ranging from the boy who speaks only in "Kung Fu" dialogue, to a man visiting a lesbian bar, Hoagland gives us a sense of finally being able to say the truth about the credentials of manhood.
“An absolutely refreshing compound of playfulness and depth . . . There's no warmed-over theory on this menu, and no guilt casserole, either: [Donkey Gospel is] an unabashedly spicy book. But if one is seduced into the book by the wildness of its flavors, one finishes by loving its substance.” Heather McHugh
“There's an underlying sweetness to the poems, and a gratitude for having survived so much human fecklessness (including, of course, one's own), and these complicate the poems' anger and puzzlement and rumple their severe surfaces. The resulting mixture has much of the complexity of a personality that willingly weathers its own perplexities and experiences, rather than striking a pose of competence and trying to ride out the storm.” William Matthews
“If the current flush of identity politics has you bored beyond belief, you might look for a deeper and truer sense of identity and belief in Donkey Gospel. It's a powerful second book, and leaves one wanting more.” Harvard Review
“In Donkey Gospel, Hoagland's puzzlement is palpable, and yet his effervescent cleverness and original twists of phrase, sometimes aphoristic in philosophical content, ring true. His poetry of cultural irony, contemporary sexuality, and the absurdities of the rock-and-roll generation leave us with a satisfied feeling of having ridden out a storm.” Ruminator Review
“[A] series of autobiographical poems about being a guy, from backslapping tales of sexual exploits to the dark and dirty truths of male animalism . . . Apologetic for being cerebral, Hoagland pays homage to Auden and D. H. Lawrence in poems that recognize one's powerful vocabulary and the other's ability to fight, and fuck, and crow in prose.” Kirkus Reviews
- Graywolf Press
- Publication date:
Meet the Author
Tony Hoagland's first book, Sweet Ruin, was awarded the Brittingham Prize in Poetry and the Zacharis Award from Ploughshares at Emerson College. A member of the writing faculty at the University of Pittsburg, Hoagland has also received grants from the NEA and the Guggenheim Foundation.
and post it to your social network
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews >
For the past six months, I have carried one of Tony Hoagland's poetry chapbooks with me for another perspective of the inanities of life, to smile about the imperfection of our human desire for perfection in the ways that the author shares poem by poem, frame by frame, line by line. His work is wry, honest, troubling and sometimes belly-shaking hilarious. Donkey Gospel is good medicine in perfectly-metered doses. Enjoy how revealing and fun poetry can be.
Tony Hoagland writes about you and me, all of us, everyone of us. As I read his book I kept saying out loud, 'Yes' and 'How True'
Tony came to read to my school last year and there was a lot of controversy about one particular poem that he wrote, 'Self-improvement.' The problem was that the teachers took offense because they chose to concentrate on merely the surface of the words, while the students looked deeper into the poem and discovered what he was trying to get across. His work is direct but crafty. Though I have not yet purchased 'Donkey Gospel,' what I have read from the book is outstanding and I highly recommend it to anyone who has an open mind.