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4.02  ·  Rating Details  ·  127 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
Ka-Ching! is a book of poems that explores America’s obsession with money. It also includes a crown of sonnets about e-bay, sestinas on the subjects of Sean Penn and the main characters of fairytales, a pantoum that riffs on a childhood riddle, and a villanelle inspired by bathroom grafitti.
Paperback, 72 pages
Published January 31st 2009 by University of Pittsburgh Press
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 205)
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May 19, 2009 Amanda rated it liked it
One day Mary said, "I am too tired to go to this event". And I said "oh Mary I will go in your place." And I lost my shoe between the car and the curb before going into the pizza place that charged too much. Jeopardy was playing on the television and the newbies, regs and workers were bonded in guessing. That night I made the sick kids proud. I successfully did not vomit though I thought I was going to the entire time. Billy Collins came through the mic and I sat forward in my chair, to focus, t ...more
Oct 22, 2009 Matt rated it really liked it
A pretty amazing book-- funny, inventive, working in a variety of styles, but throughout unified by the concept of money-- what we do with it, what it does to us, etc. Really good, though sometimes I felt like maybe humor (which comes up here a lot) was a way to get away without going too deep.... This isn't an indictment as much as it is an exploration of the power of money, and I'm not sure that on its own, exploring money should be enough?

Other notes: this book is extra-prosey. Like half of i
May 29, 2012 David rated it really liked it
Often hilarious, often sad, this book is wonderful to teach because Duhamel challenges notions of form while writing in a straightforward way that upends the student expectation that poems have to sound a certain way.

D. Duhamel was also a guest at this year's Ohio U Lit Fest and was truly wonderful. Her lecture involved singing disco hits, her reading was terrific, and she was below sea-level, maintenance-wise.
Jul 04, 2015 Cheryl rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Actual rating: 4.67 of 5 thorns

Assertive. Experimental. Creative. Political. Self-conscious. Accessible. Poems of all lengths and forms. The subtle way Duhamel moves through the images and commentary is effective and impactful; the reader reaches the end of the poem and realizes the insight in a glorious instant. All poems are tied together with the theme of money, in some way or another, and some poems are odd and really make the reader think. This collection encourages rereading and more in-de
Feb 11, 2014 Helen rated it it was amazing
I love the way Denise Duhamel plays with words and form. In Ka-ching, we have sestinas, Ebay sonnets, pantoums, and poems with word puzzles and anagrams hidden inside, like literary Easter eggs.

And then there are a ton of prose poems. The opening section is a collection of prose poems written in 100,000 increments, where the stakes are slowly raised from fifty cent pieces stuck to the bottom of a porcelain cat bank to the very lives of her parents after a horrific freak accident.

This particula
Annette Boehm
Sep 02, 2014 Annette Boehm rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Ka-ching! is a playful, funny and ironic book, the rebellious love child of formal and confessional poetry.
I've written a more in-depth review here: but in brief, I recommend this book. It's accessible and fun to read.
Denton McCabe
Nov 05, 2015 Denton McCabe rated it did not like it
Horribly disappointing. It's filled with poetry and prose touching upon eBay auctions, Monopoly money, Cinderella's slipper, weapons inspections, and other fun topics. It was pretty shallow writing, inventive - but a bit shallow. I'd skip it.
Blogbaas Van 'tVliegend Eiland
Nov 23, 2014 Blogbaas Van 'tVliegend Eiland rated it really liked it
Oct 31, 2009 Diane rated it it was amazing
Absorbing, entertaining, funny, witty, poignant, true, imaginative - all kinds of goodies in this book! Not to mention an opportunity to meditate on one's own money stories, among many other things. I especially loved the way her unique and original word play "forms" fit the content of her poems - as, for example, the letter to Sean Penn (Delta Flight 659) in which every line ends with "pen" in it: Pentium, penetrate, depending, penance, pentagon, penniless, Aspen - to name but a few.
May 13, 2010 Craig rated it really liked it
What can I say? I absolutely love Denise Duhamel.

This volume was as strong as ever. Her signature sense of humor shines through a collection that otherwise could have been oppressively dark. Her poetic prowess is, as always, brilliant.

The only thing keeping this book from receiving 5 stars is that I didn't feel that there were many truly stand out poems that sucked away my breath. However, when the collection is this cohesive and strong, I can easily forgive that.
Feb 18, 2009 Emma rated it it was amazing
What I learned from this book is that even the most troubling of circumstance can be addressed with grace and wit. Also that form is your friend, poetry collections are meatier when they read as cohesive books, and Duhamel is a goddess of poetry. Here's a mini-review I wrote for the BAP site:

Christina Rau
Aug 28, 2015 Christina Rau rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
A poetic journey that follows the money and other ideas of wealth. The prose poems contain narratives that remain poetic with attention to diction and sound. Some of the poems seemed out of place or were difficult to get through, but overall, a nice read. I'm giving 4 stars over 3 because of the creativity of how the prose poems present themselves in the beginning.
Amy Sawyer
Nov 19, 2009 Amy Sawyer rated it really liked it
So excited that she will be one of my MFA professors. This is just me, but I can't handle vivid descriptions or images of anything medical, which was a theme in part of the book, so that hard to read. But I love her humor and outlook on life. Highly recommend for a relevant contemporary American woman poet.
Jul 19, 2011 Anne rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
I love the use of pop culture in poetry and when Duhamel does it well, it's fabulous. Some poems were a little too gimicky for my liking, and some of the prose poems did not stand out to me personally. But overall, a solid read and some interesting stuff here.
Larry Kaplun
Dec 28, 2008 Larry Kaplun rated it liked it
Am in the middle of reading Duhamel's new book and it's pretty good. I especially like the "play money" poems, and her sestina to Sean Penn is great and hysterical. Am looking forward to re-reading and spending more time with the book.
The title caught me right off. Normally do not read poetry, though I do like it, but Duhamel's poetry tells a story I could follow and it is interesting to read.
Jun 10, 2009 Lisa rated it it was amazing
I didn't like her "clever" poems...but I'm still rating this a 5 because I LOVED the other pieces in here. Really touching, emotional and just wonderful.
Jan 21, 2010 James rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry-poetics
Fun to read, but not her best. The material seems better suited to memoir. But it did introduce me to the gruesome world of escalator accidents.
Michael Brockley
Dec 26, 2015 Michael Brockley rated it it was amazing
KA-CHING! By Denise Duhamel
Prose poems and experiments; parentheses and slot machines ( ).
Sep 20, 2010 Alison rated it it was amazing
Wonderful! Prose writing at it's best. Funny too!
Cathryn Cofell
Aug 02, 2011 Cathryn Cofell rated it it was amazing
Her best...god I love this woman!
May 19, 2009 Erik rated it liked it
ok. a little kitschy in spots.
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Denise Duhamel's most recent books are Ka-Ching! (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2009), Two and Two (Pittsburgh, 2005), Mille et un Sentiments (Firewheel, 2005); Queen for a Day: Selected and New Poems (Pittsburgh, 2001); The Star-Spangled Banner (Southern Illinois University Press, 1999); and Kinky (Orchises Press, 1997). A bilingual edition of her poems, Afortunada de mí (Lucky Me), translated ...more
More about Denise Duhamel...

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