The House on Boulevard St: New and Selected Poems

LSU Press
Free sample

Long-lined and often laugh-aloud funny, Kirby's poems are ample steamer trunks into which the poet seems to be able to put just about anything-the heated restlessness of youth, the mixed blessings of self-imposed exile, the settled pleasures of home. As the poet Philip Levine says, the world that Kirby takes into his imagination and the one that arises from it merge to become a creation like no other, something like the world we inhabit but funnier and more full of wonder and terror. He has evolved a poetic vision that seems able to include anything, and when he lets it sweep him across the face of Europe and America, the results are astonishing. The poems in The House on Boulevard St. were written within earshot of David Kirby's Old World masters, Shakespeare and Dante. From the former, Kirby takes the compositional method of organizing not only the whole book but also each separate section as a dream; from the latter, a three-part scheme that gives the book rough symmetry.
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Additional Information

Publisher
LSU Press
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Published on
Dec 31, 2007
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Pages
169
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ISBN
9780807135815
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Language
English
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Genres
Poetry / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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A brilliant new biography of the extraordinary, outrageous performer who helped open the floodgates of Rock 'n' Roll. In June, 2007, Little Richard's 1955 Specialty Records single, "Tutti Frutti," topped Mojo magazine's list of "100 Records That Changed the World." But back in the early 1950s, nobody gave Little Richard a second glance. It was a time in America where the black and white worlds had co-existed separately for nearly two centuries. After "Tutti Frutti," Little Richard began garnering fans from both sides of the civil rights divide. He brought black and white youngsters together on the dance floor and even helped to transform race relations.

Little Richard: The Birth of Rock 'n' Roll begins by grounding the reader in the fertile soil from which Little Richard's music sprang. In Macon, Georgia, David Kirby interviews relatives and local characters, who knew Little Richard way back when, citing church and family as his true inspiration. His antics began as early as grade school, performing for his classmates every time the teacher would leave the room, connecting to an age-old American show biz tradition of charade and flummery. On the road, Little Richard faced competition from his peers, honing his stage show and making it, too, an act that could not be counterfeited.

Kirby sees Little Richard as a foxy warrior, fighting with skill and cunning to take his place among the greats. In the words of Keith Richards (on hearing "Tutti Frutti" for the first time), "it was as though the world changed suddenly from monochrome to Technicolor." Those sentiments have consistently been echoed by the music-listening world, and the time is ripe for a reassessment of Little Richard's genius and legacy.
From the New York Times bestselling author of Evidence of Harm and Animal Factory—a groundbreaking scientific thriller that exposes the dark side of SeaWorld, America's most beloved marine mammal park

Death at SeaWorld centers on the battle with the multimillion-dollar marine park industry over the controversial and even lethal ramifications of keeping killer whales in captivity. Following the story of marine biologist and animal advocate at the Humane Society of the US, Naomi Rose, Kirby tells the gripping story of the two-decade fight against PR-savvy SeaWorld, which came to a head with the tragic death of trainer Dawn Brancheau in 2010. Kirby puts that horrific animal-on-human attack in context. Brancheau's death was the most publicized among several brutal attacks that have occurred at Sea World and other marine mammal theme parks.

Death at SeaWorld introduces real people taking part in this debate, from former trainers turned animal rights activists to the men and women that champion SeaWorld and the captivity of whales. In section two the orcas act out. And as the story progresses and orca attacks on trainers become increasingly violent, the warnings of Naomi Rose and other scientists fall on deaf ears, only to be realized with the death of Dawn Brancheau. Finally he covers the media backlash, the eyewitnesses who come forward to challenge SeaWorld's glossy image, and the groundbreaking OSHA case that
challenges the very idea of keeping killer whales in captivity and may spell the end of having trainers in the water with the ocean's top predators.

A brilliant new biography of the extraordinary, outrageous performer who helped open the floodgates of Rock 'n' Roll. In June, 2007, Little Richard's 1955 Specialty Records single, "Tutti Frutti," topped Mojo magazine's list of "100 Records That Changed the World." But back in the early 1950s, nobody gave Little Richard a second glance. It was a time in America where the black and white worlds had co-existed separately for nearly two centuries. After "Tutti Frutti," Little Richard began garnering fans from both sides of the civil rights divide. He brought black and white youngsters together on the dance floor and even helped to transform race relations.

Little Richard: The Birth of Rock 'n' Roll begins by grounding the reader in the fertile soil from which Little Richard's music sprang. In Macon, Georgia, David Kirby interviews relatives and local characters, who knew Little Richard way back when, citing church and family as his true inspiration. His antics began as early as grade school, performing for his classmates every time the teacher would leave the room, connecting to an age-old American show biz tradition of charade and flummery. On the road, Little Richard faced competition from his peers, honing his stage show and making it, too, an act that could not be counterfeited.

Kirby sees Little Richard as a foxy warrior, fighting with skill and cunning to take his place among the greats. In the words of Keith Richards (on hearing "Tutti Frutti" for the first time), "it was as though the world changed suddenly from monochrome to Technicolor." Those sentiments have consistently been echoed by the music-listening world, and the time is ripe for a reassessment of Little Richard's genius and legacy.
Praise for David Kirby

"Kirby is exuberant, irrepressible, maniacal and remarkably entertaining.... Okay, let me just say it: he is a wonderful poet." -- Steve Kowit, San Diego Union-Tribune

"Kirby's voice and matter (teaching, literature, traveling, rock 'n' roll, everyday bozohood) are utterly personal and, despite all the laughter, ultimately moving." -- Ray Olson, Booklist

"[Kirby] is a poet who peels away the layers of our skin to show us who we are: our weaknesses, our strengths, and our hilarious obsessions." -- Micah Zevin, New Pages

"The world that Kirby takes into his imagination and the one that arises from it merge to become a creation like no other, something like the world we inhabit but funnier and more full of wonder and terror." -- Philip Levine, Ploughshares

"These poems may be too cool for words." -- Carol Muske-Dukes, New York Times Book Review

Inspired by the carpenter's biscuit joint -- a seamless, undetectable fit between pieces of wood -- David Kirby's latest collection dramatizes the artistic mind as a hidden connection that links the mundane with the remarkable. Even in our most ordinary actions, Kirby shows, there lies a wealth of creative inspiration: "the poem that is written every day if we're there / to read it."

Well known for his garrulous and comic musings, Kirby follows a wandering yet calculated path. In "What's the Plan, Artists?" a girl's yawning in a picture gallery leads him to meditations on subjects as diverse as musical composition, the less-than-beautiful human figure, and "the simple pleasures / of living." The Biscuit Joint traverses seemingly random thoughts so methodically that the journey from beginning to end always proves satisfying and surprising.

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