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The Holy Spirit of Life: Essays Written for John Ashcroft's Secret Self

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Overview

The bold and surprising imagination of Joe Wenderoth is everywhere present in these essays moving fluidly between aesthetics, obscenity, America, censorship, and the craft of poetry. Fans of his previous work know he is one of those rare figures who travels between pop culture, poetry, and cultural critique, and all will be thrilled to find his uncompromising and inimitable sensibility on brilliant display.

Joe Wenderoth grew up near Baltimore. His books include the novel Letters To Wendy’s (Verse Press, 2000) and the poetry collections It Is If I Speak and Disfortune (Wesleyan, 2000, 1995). Agony: A Proposal is forthcoming from Verse Press. He teaches at the University of California Davis, where he lives with his wife and daughter.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Wenderoth's Letters to Wendy's (2000)- irreverent, witty prose poems written on comment cards from the eponymous burger chain-racked up unheard-of sales and made the young writer a poetry-world celebrity. Wenderoth's first post-Wendy's publication collects equally irreverent, equally biting and sometimes frankly sexual efforts in prose, along with a few poems and photographs: it shows his wit, and his desire to shock, undimmed. Individual essays explore the semiotics of Mayberry RFD and the phenomenology of Wile E. Coyote; reinterpret a poem of Sappho's to describe a seizure; rewrite a poem by Robert Hass so that it describes junkies in Cleveland; invent new drinking games; and advise academic colleagues, "Be glad that in truth you are... not in control of what comes into your mouth." "An Eye for an Eye for an Eye" proposes updates on the TV show Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, among them "Drug-Users' Eye for the Corporate Zombie." Wenderoth also reproduces correspondence with magazine editors regarding another essay (also printed here) whose portrayal of a promiscuous female Jesus led the editors to kill the piece. Though some pieces suffer as their occasions pass, most remain disorientingly smart, and funny. (Nov.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780974635378
  • Publisher: Wave Books
  • Publication date: 11/1/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 160
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author


Joe Wenderoth grew up near Baltimore. He is the author of five books of prose and poetry, including Letters to Wendy's (Verse Press, 2000). He teaches at the University of California, Davis.
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Table of Contents

The rape of Mayberry 13
Letters from the American poet 21
The holy spirit of life 29
Crazy 35
Respecting the chasm 41
Laving the chuff 47
In response to the disciplinary action taken against me by the human resource manager 51
Personality 55
The souls of white folk 61
Fuck-sounds in the classroom 67
Regarding the campus evangelists 71
Twenty-five ways to make love without having sex 77
Bringing freaks to campus 81
This trying not to tell the story 85
Defining Ground Zero 91
My heart says there's no place to go 99
Semiotics : dehiscence is never/always sought 105
Memo : to the department 109
The lumberjack's melancholy pussy 113
Impediments to democracy 119
Genuine people : talking this way, everything dissolves 123
Meditation at Cleveland 133
An eye for an eye for an eye 137
Withstanding seizure 141
Outside the hospital 151
The imaginary tunnel 159
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