Why Poetry Sucks: An Anthology of Humorous Experimental Canadian Poetry (signed paperback)

Why Poetry Sucks: An Anthology of Humorous Experimental Canadian Poetry in English Written by Canadians for Canadians (or American Bodysnatchers) in the Early Years of the 21st Century with an Overly Long and Not That Clever Subtitle the Publisher Rightly Refused to Put on the Cover

Edited by Ryan Fitzpatrick & Jonathan Ball

294 Pages • Insomniac Press, 2014 • ISBN 978-1-55483-122-7

Despite a reputation for dead seriousness, poetry has a long relationship with humour, from Catullus’ complaints to Chaucer’s ribald tales to Kenneth Goldsmith’s appearance on The Colbert ReportFocusing on our contemporary moment, WHY POETRY SUCKS scrutinizes Canada’s poetic avant-gardes for signs of humorous life.

Moving deftly between entertainment, attack, and critique, this poetry makes us laugh while making us wonder why we’re laughing at all. The authors in WHY POETRY SUCKS draw from deep traditions in both poetry and comedy, often challenging the rigid literary and political impasses they encounter. In our current social and cultural game of Blockado (the game of barricades), humour can act as an important sledge, taking a swing at the institutions and ideologies we might wish changed — all the while acknowledging, with bitter laughter and tongue in cheek, our apparent inability to change them. 

Contributors:  Annharte • Oana Avasilichioaei & Erín Moure • Elizabeth Bachinsky • Gary Barwin • derek beaulieu • Gregory Betts • Christian Bök • Louis Cabri • Lindsay Cahill • Stephen Cain • Margaret Christakos • Jason Christie • Brian Joseph Davis • Dina Del Bucchia • Jeff Derksen • Jeramy Dodds • Nathan Dueck • kevin mcpherson eckhoff • Mercedes Eng • Chris Ewart • Jon Paul Fiorentino • Aaron Giovannone • Helen Hajnoczky • Susan Holbrook & Nicole Markotic • Ray Hsu • Bill Kennedy & Darren Wershler • Jake Kennedy • Dorothy Trujillo Lusk • Suzette Mayr • David McGimpsey • Maurice Mierau • Kathryn Mockler • Garry Thomas Morse • Nikki Reimer • Stuart Ross • Jordan Scott • Colin Smith • Jonathon Wilcke • Ian Williams • Daniel Zomparelli

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"Sure it's funny, but is it the right kind of funny? I just think there needs to be some kind of study to find out what makes poetry funny. And then a national debate. You can start here. know I laughed reading these poems. But I laughed the way funny people laugh, which is on the inside, right? Right? Am I right?" — Sina Queyras

"I am emerging from a fog of several weeks, all my promises and duties and chores gone to seed, gone to thistle and ragweed. And so I find when I open your email a double dismay. My guilt at acute tardiness for one. And reeling before the sheer size of the book. My god, Ball, what were you and Fitzgerald doing? Hence my question: since I am unconscionably late, am I simply too late to provide a blurb?” — Dennis Cooley