A Defense of Poetry

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University of Pittsburgh Press, 2002 - Poetry - 90 pages
7 Reviews
Winner of the 2001 Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize
Runner-up, Society of Midland Authors 2002 Poetry Prize

Gabriel Gudding’s poems not only defend against the pretense and vanity of war, violence, and religion, but also against the vanity of poetry itself. These poems sometimes nestle in the lowest regions of the body, and depict invective, donnybrooks, chase scenes, and the abuse of animals, as well as the indignities and bumblings of the besotted, the lustful, the annoyed, and the stupid.

In short, Gudding seeks to reclaim the lowbrow. Dangerous, edgy, and dark, this is an innovative writer unafraid to attack the unremitting high seriousness of so much poetry, laughing with his readers as he twists the elegiac lyric "I" into a pompous little clown.

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Review: A Defense Of Poetry

User Review  - Laurel Perez - Goodreads

Oh Gabe, reading this collection was like being in workshop all over again, both of which were just magical. The underlying defense against the vanity, the seriousness, and pomposity of the lyric "I ... Read full review

Review: A Defense Of Poetry

User Review  - Kevin - Goodreads

A great collection. The title poem is a pretty amazing insult piece, and there are many other gems. Most of the poems straddle the space between poignant and ridiculous, and sometimes they swerve too far towards the ridiculous, but for me the ridiculousness is often its own reward. Read full review


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About the author (2002)

Gabriel Gudding is a 1998 recipient of The Nation Discovery Award and a 2001 Constance Saltonstall Individual Artist's Grant. He is an assistant professor of creative writing at Illinois State University.

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