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Red Sauce, Whiskey and Snow: Poems

3.67 of 5 stars 3.67  ·  rating details  ·  64 ratings  ·  8 reviews
This is a book of jazzy, edgy, adventuresome poems from the author of Earthquake Weather and Like Cities, Like Storms. Ever aware, ever vivid, ever focused, Kleinzahler's are some of the finest lyrics being produced in American poetry today. "Pieces of ordinary talk are Kleinzahler's strong suit," as Helen Vendler observed in Parnassus, "because they occur in his glancing, ...more
Paperback, 112 pages
Published May 30th 1996 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published April 1st 1995)
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James
I was in and out with this book -- like, from poem to poem and within poems themselves. I think what he's doing, the pairing of very exacting craft with gritty "urban" material, is great, but it comes off really mannered and false about half the time. But jeez, there are some beautiful moments. Read the first "Reno" poem, "San Francisco/New York," "Who Stole the Horses from the Indians?" "Visits," "Going."

Oh, and I totally agree with a previous reviewer about the troublesome font usage. Everythi
...more
Michael Vagnetti
"The maximum allowable eccentricity." This could have been, I think, what Kleinzahler represented to the institutional media/readers of this book, when it was published in the mid-nineties. (This is also a precept that can be said to define the boundary of what is publishable, and what is cast off. Some sort of graphed curve, with areas above and below, and axes of readership and readability.) Also, of quotas: there has to be at least one poet at all times that writes of the "ironically beautifu ...more
Christina Rau
August Kleinzahler has an awesome name. Anyone with a name like that needs to do something special in life, needs to be in the arts. Luckily, he's got some poetic spunk. He's the author of Red Sauce, Whiskey, and Snow, a collection of poems that PGrin gave me for my birthday. I read it in an hour. It's, well, it's out there.

I read through the poems with a pen at the ready. I now have to go back through and add in the meanings for all the words I circled. Either he's got a vast vocabulary or a re
...more
Craig
Let me preface this review by admitting that I have never read anything else by this poet. I'm not sure if that matters as far as my thoughts on this collection, but I figured I should throw it out there.

If I had to give a one word review? Jumbled. This collection reads like an anthology. There are different styles, different voices. While this may show great talent, it made the book feel particularly disjointed to me. I appreciate the melding of high and low culture that is attempted in the lan
...more
Paula
Jazzy and worldly. I feel like I've been around the world on the notes of a saxophone.

Very nice sound qualities (but not overwhelming) and some pretty good lines. Also not sentimental yet successfully sympathetic. Willing to experiment and take risks with lines and images.

One thing I need to criticize is the font choice. Not that this is something that can be changed (as this was published over ten years ago), but the font choice makes the italicized lines difficult to read as italicized; I oft
...more
James
If the title doesn't get you, you probably won't like the poems. This is another great collection from a poet I admire for his breadth and humor. Not to mention honesty, and not in the overdone, pretentious, post-confessional American moment most contemporary poetry seems mired in. Check out, as well, Green Sees Things in Waves, as well as the prose book Cutty, One Rock.
Malcolm Alexander
This acclaimed book just didn't do it for me. I'll read it again in a few years and see if my opinion has changed.
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August Kleinzahler was born in Jersey City in 1949. He is the author of eleven books of poems and a memoir, "Cutty, One Rock." His collection "The Strange Hours Travelers Keep" was awarded the 2004 Griffin Poetry Prize, and "Sleeping It Off in Rapid City" won the 2008 National Book Critics Circle Award. That same year he received a Lannan Literary Award. His new collection, "The Hotel Oneira," wil ...more
More about August Kleinzahler...
Sleeping it Off in Rapid City Cutty, One Rock: Low Characters and Strange Places, Gently Explained Green Sees Things in Waves: Poems The Strange Hours Travelers Keep: Poems Live from the Hong Kong Nile Club: Poems: 1975-1990

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