May 18, 2010

Be the First on Your Block to Get Drunk and Read Poems

Maybe, just maybe, you live on a block of drinking poetry readers. If so, you’re lucky (and maybe sleepy, too, as poetry and drinking combined lead some to stay up all night). If not, or even (and maybe moreso) if so, then I want to let you know about the book that will change your life, and have you drinking and reading poems for days. The trick is (and this is how you can be a trendsetter, instead of a trend follower) that the book isn’t even out yet, but is pre-orderable, so you can be the first person you know to get it. It’s called In Their Cups: An Anthology of Poems About Drinking Places, Drinks, and Drinkers. I’d tell you about it in detail, but A: I edited it, so am bias’d, and B: I want to save some of my gushing for when it comes out proper, and C: the wonderful poet Richard Jackson already said this about it:

“Souls of poets dead and gone,” goes the line from Keats, but AJ Rathbun’s wonderful In Their Cups brings them back, at least for a few more drinks, and we too are invited in. And what company we enjoy: we can imagine classic poets as diverse as Catullus and Du Fu speaking to polar opposite modernists like Cesare Pavese and Appollinaire, perhaps interrupted here and there by diverse contemporary voices such as Mark Halliday and William Olsen. Rathbun has created a unique imaginary world here, adding a couple of his own fine poems to the conversation, where we can hear, with Richard Hugo, the “dusty jukebox crackling” on every page. This is a book you’ll want to raise a glass to.


Now, don’t be scared if you don’t cozy up with poets on an every day basis—you’re going to love it. I promise. Read it with drink in hand, and you’ll probably never put it down, until you fall down. Which is saying something.


PS: Want to see an actual poem that’s in the book to get you going? Check out here, and here.

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Niki Sholly said:

Pretty sure I WILL be the first on my block to do this because I am, if I may be so forward, the likeliest candidate on my block to drunkenly read poetry. Or to read it soberly for that matter. And quite frankly I do neither as often as I should. But because you seem so amenable to the situation (and because the book isn’t available yet), I’m going to pass the time anxiously awaiting the reading poetry part by cozying up with just the drink for now.

Christy said:

Like I need an excuse to read poetry! It’s the drinking part you might have to convince me to do.
In what spare minute did you put this little diddy out? You are most prolific Mr. Rathbun.

admin said:

Not quite out yet C9. Should be Sept. And Niki, I think your block is luck to have you, and I think also that your plan of drinking while waiting for said volume is genius (C9, follow that plan).

Rebecca said:

I can’t tell you how excited I am for this book! I remember when it was in the works about two years ago, and I pretty much started a countdown right then and there. Seriously. Future Drunk Literature Book Club Selection: DEFINITELY!

admin said:

The countdown is on! I hope it lives up to expectations. And that you drink heartily while reading it out loud for friends (or on the streecorners–your choice).

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