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Real Sofistikashun: Essays on Poetry and Craft

Overview

The anticipated first collection of essays by celebrated poet Tony Hoagland, author of What Narcissism Means to Me

Meanness, the very thing that is unforgivable in human social life, in poetry is thrilling and valuable. Why? Because the willingness to be offensive sets free the ruthless observer in all of us, the spiteful perceptive angel who sees and tells, unimpeded by nicety or second thoughts. There is truth-telling, and more, in meanness. ...

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Overview

The anticipated first collection of essays by celebrated poet Tony Hoagland, author of What Narcissism Means to Me

Meanness, the very thing that is unforgivable in human social life, in poetry is thrilling and valuable. Why? Because the willingness to be offensive sets free the ruthless observer in all of us, the spiteful perceptive angel who sees and tells, unimpeded by nicety or second thoughts. There is truth-telling, and more, in meanness. —from "Negative Capability: How to Talk Mean and Influence People"

Tony Hoagland has won The Poetry Foundation's Mark Twain Award, recognizing a poet's contribution to humor in American poetry, and also the Folger Shakespeare Library's O. B. Hardison Jr. Poetry Prize, the only major award that honors a poet's excellence in teaching. Real Sofistikashun, from the title onward, uses Hoagland's signature abilities to entertain and instruct as he forages through central questions about how poems behave and how they are made.

In these taut, illuminating essays, Hoagland explores aspects of poetic craft—metaphor, tone, rhetorical and compositional strategies—with the vigorous, conversational style less of the scholar than of the serious enthusiast and practitioner. Real Sofistikashun is an exciting, humorous, and provocative collection of essays, as pleasurable a book as it is useful.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781555974558
  • Publisher: Graywolf Press
  • Publication date: 9/19/2006
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 376,358
  • Product dimensions: 5.99 (w) x 8.89 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Meet the Author

TONY HOAGLAND is the author of three poetry collections, including What Narcissism Means to Me, finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and Donkey Gospel, winner of the James Laughlin Award. He teaches at the University of Houston.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 25, 2009

    It's like taking a poetry class

    This is one of four books I was assigned before a poetry workshop this summer. Hoagland takes an educator's approach, providing a thorough review of contemporary poetry, so that when I was done, I felt like I understood the basics of how poetry got to where it is today.

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