Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Verses That Hurt: Pleasure and Pain from the POEMFONE Poets” as Want to Read:
Verses That Hurt: Pleasure and Pain from the POEMFONE Poets
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Verses That Hurt: Pleasure and Pain from the POEMFONE Poets

3.87  ·  Rating Details ·  303 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
What are are holding right now in your hands is a book. Not a telephone reciever, which is how most of the poems in this collection were first transmitted...There are plenty of examples of this spreading of one art form or another through popular mediums. There are all those wonderful Russian Constructivist posters, Dr. Alphabet's public poetry gatherings on football field ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published March 15th 1997 by St. Martin's Griffin
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Verses That Hurt, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Verses That Hurt

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 508)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Nov 23, 2015 Joshua rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
One of the reasons I bought this is because one of my favorite poets, Nicole Blackman, has some poems in it, and her work is hard to come by.
Another reason is I love the idea of POEMFONE and was interested to see how these spoken word pieces would translate to paper.

I get that all of these poems were written in a day and are meant to be read aloud, I also understand that they are abstract and I really enjoy a lot of transgressive poetry.
That being said, this book, like any anthology; is a very
Nicole Bunge
Nov 27, 2011 Nicole Bunge rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fans of Soul Coughing, King Missle, and Nicole Blackman
POEMFONE - for those that don't know, was a NYC poet's project where every day a poet called and recorded a new poem on an answering machine, and you could call and listen. The group involved all sorts of hip poets and musicians - including 3 of my favorites: M. Doughty (of Soul Coughing), Nicole Blackman (of KMFDM & other bands), and John S. Hall (of King Missile).

It's an amazing, beautiful, RAW collection of contemporary free verse, that introduces you to a host of talented poets - and inc
Apr 05, 2011 Kelly rated it it was ok
Most of the poems are just trash. i can't judge the poets based off of a few meager "poems", but really they should have put more effort into putting their thoughts into a more poetic form. a lot of this is nothing more than pissy diary entries.

Having said that, i have realized that 1) they are "alternative", 2) all poems were written in a day, 3) some of them are probably good when performed live... the writing is still sub-par, but yes, they probably sound good spoken and 4) maybe some were am
Richard Goodwin
Sep 07, 2015 Richard Goodwin rated it really liked it
I think this title is misleading. I went in thinking this will be some of the worst poetry I have ever read. Thankfully I was wrong. Throughout this book I was entertained, confused, sad, and happy. Some poems I understood others I had no idea what they were talking about. Some I liked and some did not fit my taste. Some felt that I have written them myself. Others made me cringe. I feel all poetry so do something for you and this collection truly did just that. I recommend reading a poet a day. ...more
Kathryn Dechairo
Mar 28, 2014 Kathryn Dechairo rated it liked it
Many of the poems in this collection are hard-hitting, dark or thought provoking. Some made me laugh, some had me cringing and some left me feeling uncomfortable and like I needed to take a shower . . . but I'd rather feel something than nothing. Favorite poets for me were Nicole Blackman, Janice Erlbaum and Hal Sirowitz.
Laura Morrigan
Feb 16, 2012 Laura Morrigan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Don't be fooled by the title or cover, this isn't a book of poems about S&M. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but what this is is a collection of Poetry from the Poemfone poets. There used to be this awesome thing where you could ring an answering machine and there would be a recording of a poet, reading one of their poems on the other end of the line.

I'm not an expert on poetry, but I think quite a few of the poets at least were part of the Beat movement. Anyway, it's a great col
Nov 26, 2007 Abigayle rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: amateur poets, and people who can appreciate eloquent angst
More than anything I love the idea of PoemPhone.

Recommended if you like emotional poetry with catchy word play - Avoid it if you can't handle angst.

I'm no expert on poetry but most of the poems in this collection really worked for me. I think the title is a bit ridiculous and full of itself, but the contributing poets shouldn't be blamed for the publishers poor choice. In most cases you can really tell that the poems were meant to be read aloud.

Aug 24, 2008 Jennn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Well, hurt is a strong word, especially when you have John S. Hall (King Missile fame) and Todd Colby poems. I love this book ever since high school and continue to read it. Many of them are funny, odd, and interesting. I love John S. Hall's poems(the reason I bought it), along with Sparrow's simple, yet disturbing poems, Todd Colby's off-the-wall verses, Hal Sirowitz's deprecating humour, etc.

I love this book.
Feb 11, 2013 Mary-ann rated it it was amazing
A divinely bizarre and off-beat anthology of poetry compiled from phone messages left by strangers. The poetry is well crafted, though some may border on offensive or be offensive, so if you take issue with strong language or sexual situations, this book may not be for your reading list. I like the collected poems and find many to be humorous and others to be masterful and poignant.
Jun 12, 2008 Jazmin rated it really liked it
Several poems in here resonate so much within me. I've had this book since high school, and I recited John S. Hall's poem, "It's Saturday" as my graduation speech. Of course, "Love Letter to His Dick" is a fabulous poem, too, but in a slightly less profound way.
Jul 17, 2007 Dan marked it as to-read
Recommends it for: Me
Shelves: poetry
OK - I found this through Goodreads, making it my first real revelation here: not, I trust, the last. I have and cherish the Poemfone CD called "New Word Order", and I can't wait to find and devour this text. Does anyone know if it contains any M. Doty poems?
Amber Decker
Jun 16, 2009 Amber Decker rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
This, I believe, is one of the most influential books to have ever graced my shelves. "Verses That Hurt" expanded my terribly naive and adolescent view of poetry and what it COULD be if the poet were brave enough to let it be. A keeper.
Oct 27, 2008 Lori rated it really liked it
I took my dog-eared, coffee-stained copy with me everywhere when it first came out! I was about 17's 10 years later and I still love these poems! Dark, funny, sad, many different writers and styles.
Kate O'Hanlon
Mar 31, 2011 Kate O'Hanlon added it
Shelves: poetry
A very mixed bag, there's some knock outs that stay with me, as fresh as the day I first read them a decade ago and there are some absolute clunkers guilty of the worst excesses of the NY poetry scene
Apr 26, 2008 Amber rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
What I love about this book of poetry is the surprises lurking around every corner. A variety of authors and styles. If you aren't afraid of dancing in the shadows, this is for you.
Aug 06, 2009 Kate rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
I really enjoyed this anthology the first time I read it and continue to go back to it every so often. This was the book that got me interested in poetry and slam poetry at that.
May 02, 2010 Jes rated it liked it
I assumed this was on the S&M side when I bought it, which is why I picked it up. It still has interesting stuff in it, just not what I thought it was.
Jul 21, 2007 Grrrl rated it really liked it
this is one of my favorite poetry collections. probably because it seems to be written by people i would know and definitely relate to their mindset.
Misti Rainwater-Lites
Feb 07, 2008 Misti Rainwater-Lites rated it it was amazing
too goddamn bad Hurricane Rita destroyed my copy of this book 'cause it slays. penny arcade is my favorite. i will buy this again.
Jul 14, 2015 Jeneé rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Very unique poems and poets in the book. Some poems are alittle unpleasant but most are very good. I enjoyed this book.
Apr 07, 2008 Patty rated it it was amazing
this book cheered me up at a really sad time. some of the poems are weird, some are dirty, a lot are hilarious.
Mar 16, 2009 SmarterLilac rated it did not like it
One of the stupidest (not to mention dullest) poetry collections I've yet encountered. A waste of my time.
LC Valdes
Sep 07, 2013 LC Valdes rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
Reading this book was like being at a poetry slam. Some of the poems were great, raw, and admirable.
Elisabeth Moser
Mar 20, 2012 Elisabeth Moser rated it it was amazing
so very very awesome. I loved this collection and I have to admit, I still LOVE CAKE!
Nov 16, 2008 Janice added it
Features five poems of mine from the early 90s, including "Love Letter to his Dick."
Mar 10, 2007 Becki rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
I have no idea when I read this book, but it's awesome. And I owe it all to Tracey! ;D
Feb 17, 2008 Rebecca rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 07, 2011 Emily rated it really liked it
Exactly like its title....painful, real stories about every day people.
Franziska Gonzalez
Sep 24, 2009 Franziska Gonzalez rated it it was amazing
I love the book and recommend it anyone. I read it 3 times in a row.
Feb 03, 2012 Neha marked it as to-read
Shelves: favourites
I am going to read this just for Nicole Blackman.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 16 17 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Blood Sugar
  • Why Things Burn
  • Aloud: Voices from the Nuyorican Poets Cafe
  • Word Warriors: 35 Women Leaders in the Spoken Word Revolution
  • Word of Mouth: Poems Featured on NPR's All Things Considered
  • Bum Rush the Page: A Def Poetry Jam
  • Directed by Desire: The Collected Poems
  • The Seventh Octave: The Early Writings of Saul Williams
  • Fruits & Vegetables
  • Ain't I a Woman! A Book of Women's Poetry from Around the World
  • Early Grrrl: The Early Poems of Marge Piercy
  • Great American Prose Poems: From Poe to the Present
  • Real Sofistikashun: Essays on Poetry and Craft
  • Repair
  • The Women Who Hate Me: Poetry, 1980-1990
  • What Is This Thing Called Love: Poems
  • Chicago Poems
  • Human Dark with Sugar

Share This Book