Jab / Edition 1

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Human, hunger, happiness, hope, heart, and Halliday all start with h, as does ham. Accident? Maybe! But seldom have the flour of the humanistic and the egg yolk of honesty mixed more swellingly with the yeast of desire and the salt of self-doubt—not to mention the olive paste of ambition.

Halliday has whacked Death and Mutabilitie before, but this time . . . this time he whacks them again. After this Jab, the world will never be the same. Or at least, a few hundred conversations, here and there, will be somewhat affected. Roll over Death, and tell Mutabilitie the news.

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Editorial Reviews

The New Yorker
Writing as a baby boomer chagrined to find his dreams intact after decades of mild disappointment, Halliday is not fashionable. He is prolix and quotidian, a Whitman in a supermarket, a confessional poet who does not take himself very seriously. In one poem, he answers a colleague's challenge: "Poems should be aggressively fictive / since fictivity is mandated anyway. I guess I dig." His cool patter skewers pomposity -- and itself, being so self-consciously out of date. Halliday speaks in dissonant cultural registers, defying irony: "To dissolve into a category, / is that why I marched this far . . . / lugging these bags and parcels bedecked with surprising stickers?"
Publishers Weekly
With his fourth book of verse, the aptly titled Jab, the Ohio-based poet-critic Mark Halliday (Selfwolf) veers skillfully between autobiographical reminiscence and bleakly comic free-associations, offering late-baby-boomer slices of life along with up-to-date self-consciousness (somewhere between James Tate and Albert Goldbarth). One moment he promises "a poem so rich it made normal living look like sawdust"; the next he's "telling stories about our absent-minded teachers/ who forgot damn near everything except what they really loved."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226313863
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/2009
  • Series: Phoenix Poets Series
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 104
  • Product dimensions: 6.13 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Mark Halliday teaches in the creative writing program at Ohio University. He is the author of three books of poems, Little Star, Tasker Street, and Selfwolf, the last published by the University of Chicago Press. He received the Rome Prize in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2001.

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Table of Contents

Time in a Brown House
The Pink Car
Thirteenth Round
Summer 1935
The Man Who Is Not at the Table
Olivier Bergmann
Poetry Failure
The Sunny Ridge
Head Wound
Summer Planning
Strawberry Milkshake
Cotton Club Classics
Nights at Ruby's
Against Realism
Lunch with Big Steve
Trumpet Player, 1963
The Beloved
Not Us
The Schuylkill
A Good Thing
18,000 CDs
Campaign Promise
Shnordink's Butterfly
Big Picture
New Thing
Separated Father
Divorced Fathers and Pizza Crusts
Heavy Trash
The Fedge
The Issue Here
Seven Baskets
Seven Boxes
Schnetzer Day
You and Yours
Dennis Pravy Speaks
Landscape #11
Nebraska Novel
Bookstore Dazzle
The Opaque
Route 302
Why Must We Write?
The Missing Poem

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Customer Reviews

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