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LitDistCo Spring 2014 - Canada

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Why Poetry Sucks
Humorous Avant-Garde and Post-Avant English Canadian Poetry
Edited by: Jonathan Ball Edited by: Ryan Fitzpatrick
9781554831227 Paperback, Trade English General Trade POETRY / Anthologies Jul 31, 2014
$19.95 CAD
Active 5 x 8 x 0 in | 0 lb 224 pages Insomniac Press
Although “experimental poetry” has a reputation for dead seriousness, unconventional poetry has a long relationship with humour, from Chaucer’s ribald tales to Kenneth Goldsmith’s appearance on The Colbert Report. Focusing on the years from 1960 to the present, Why Poetry Sucks scrutinizes Canada’s poetic avant-gardes for signs of humorous life, whether in the form of witty jokes, punning wordplay, or ugly pranks. At its best and most challenging, poetic humour moves deftly between entertainment, attack, and self-critique, making us laugh at the same time it makes us wonder why we’re laughing at all. Why Poetry Sucks is a readable anthology designed for the public sphere, while maintaining an academic framework that allows the anthology to appeal to both the general and the student reader.

Jonathan Ball, Ph.D. (English), teaches literature, film, and writing at the University of Manitoba and the University of Winnipeg. He is the author of the poetry books Ex Machina (BookThug, 2009), Clockfire (Coach House, 2010), and The Politics of Knives (Coach House, 2012; winner of a Manitoba Book Award), and the academic monograph John Paizs’s Crime Wave (U of Toronto P, 2014). Visit him online at

Ryan Fitzpatrick is a poet and critic living in Vancouver, where he is working toward his doctorate in contemporary poetics at Simon Fraser University. He is a former editor of filling Station magazine and is currently co-director (with Chris Ewart) of the Hootenanny School of Writing. He is the author of Fake Math (Snare Books, 2007) and 21st Century Monsters (Red Nettle Press, 2012).

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