Unincorporated Persons in the Late Honda Dynasty

Unincorporated Persons in the Late Honda Dynasty

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by Tony Hoagland
     
 

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The new poetry collection by Tony Hoagland, the award-winning author of What Narcissim Means To Me and Donkey Gospel

In Unincorporated Persons in the Late Honda Dynasty, Tony Hoagland is deep inside a republic that no longer offers reliable signage, in which comfort and suffering are intimately entwined, and whose citizens gasp for

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Overview

The new poetry collection by Tony Hoagland, the award-winning author of What Narcissim Means To Me and Donkey Gospel

In Unincorporated Persons in the Late Honda Dynasty, Tony Hoagland is deep inside a republic that no longer offers reliable signage, in which comfort and suffering are intimately entwined, and whose citizens gasp for oxygen without knowing why. With Hoagland's trademark humor and social commentary, these poems are exhilarating for their fierce moral curiosity, their desire to name the truth, and their celebration of the resilience of human nature.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
I too am made of joists and stanchions, of plasterboard and temperamental steel, mortgage payments and severed index fingers, ex-girlfriends and secret Kool-Aid-flavored dawns. —from “Demolition”

“It’s hard to imagine any aspect of contemporary American life that couldn’t make its way into the writing of Tony Hoagland or a word in common or formal usage he would shy away from. He is a poet of risk: he risks wild laughter in poems that are totally heartfelt, poems you want to read out loud to anyone who needs to know the score and even more so to those who think they know the score. The framework of his writing is immense, almost as large as the tarnished nation he wandered into under the star of poetry.” —Jackson Poetry Prize judges’ citation

Dwight Garner
…few [poets] deliver more pure pleasure. [Hoagland's] erudite comic poems are backloaded with heartache and longing, and they function, emotionally, like improvised explosive devices: the pain comes at you from the cruelest angles, on the sunniest of days…At his frequent best…Mr. Hoagland is demonically in touch with the American demotic, speaking—to borrow Marianne Moore's words—"not in Spanish, not in Greek, not in Latin, not in shorthand,/but in plain American which cats and dogs can read!" Listen up, cats: This plain, unincorporated, free-range American poet is one you'll want to know about.
—The New York Times
Joel Brouwer
Like [Philip] Larkin, Tony Hoagland seems to draw inspiration and fluency as a poet from his disappointment and frustration as a human being. And like Larkin's, Hoagland's poems, though chock-full of grousing, are so fully alive to the rich, dark depths of their grumpiness that they constantly threaten, against their author's gimlet-eyed better judgment, to become beautiful.
—The New York Times Book Review
Publishers Weekly
Hoagland’s fourth collection finds him cynically observing America during and after the Bush presidency. The speaker of these poems is deeply disheartened by his country and his own complacence, though far from unable to churn up good-natured jokes out of the mess. “After I heard It’s a Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall/ played softly by an accordion quartet/ through the ceiling speakers at the Springsdale Shopping Mall,/ I understood there’s nothing/ we can’t pluck the stinger from,” opens “Hard Rain.” Near the end of the same poem, Hoagland admits, “I used to think I was not part of this,/ that I could mind my own business and get along,// but that was just another song.” Hoagland has much in common with the popular Billy Collins—a sharp, if deadpan, wit; accessible, almost prosey lines; a penchant for self-consciously drawing the reader’s attention to the artifice of the poem—but with a more musically attuned ear and a darker outlook: “I was driving home that afternoon/ in some dilated condition of sensitivity/ of the kind known only to certain poets/ and more or less everybody else.” At his best, Hoagland is capable of showing us how truly marvelous “our marvelous punishment” can be. (Feb.)
Library Journal
"I wanted to get the cement truck into the poem/ because I loved the bulk of the big rotating barrel/ as it went calmly down the street,/ churning to keep the wet cement inside/ slushily in motion." And just like that—because "you want[ed] to talk about America," after all—a cement truck joins the playground swing, a corn-chip factory, Britney Spears, the DC sniper, jazz music, and an amazing assortment of other ingredients, not the least of which is Jimmy's Wok and Roll American-Chinese Gourmet Emporium, all of which divine and define the brilliant and delightful landscape of Hoagland's world. Hoagland (What Narcissism Means to Me) has fun in these poems but always in service to a smart and insightful notion. He also takes great risks in his unsettling juxtaposition of diction and his curiously diverse subject matter, and he is as ready to express confusion, outrage, and anger as he is to display outlandish humor. VERDICT These poems are meant to shake up an already shaken world. But then, "this is no/ ordinary snowglobe." Highly recommended for all collections.—Louis McKee, Painted Bride Arts Ctr., Philadelphia

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781555975494
Publisher:
Graywolf Press
Publication date:
02/02/2010
Pages:
100
Sales rank:
591,844
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.40(d)

Meet the Author

Tony Hoagland is the author of three previous poetry collections, including What Narcissism Means to Me and Donkey Gospel, and a collection of essays, Real Sofistikashun: Essays on Poetry and Craft. He teaches at the University of Houston.

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