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Mud Cakes

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Poetry. The winner of the first Melissa Lanitis Gregory Poetry Prize, MUD CAKES is a deep and heartfelt examination of growing up in Middle America at a time when spiritual guidance comes from Luke Skywalker and KISS. Pop culture has replaced religion for a young boy in Ohio, and this collection of poems shows us how he uses modern mythologies to navigate the deterioration of his family. Poet Jason Schossler conjures images of childhood that evoke both the resilience of youth and its vulnerabilities."In richly detailed poem-stories about a small-town Ohio childhood, Jason Schossler enacts the vertigo of individual experience inside collective memory: Star Wars games, car parts, Anglophilia among the Cocoa Puffs, a mother's mouth 'forming the zeros of loss, ' a neighbor whose 'eyes shone like glass bottles out of the sea' in his fervor for Jesus. MUD CAKES is alert and detail-rich, charming and estranging in just the right proportion. Reading it, we learn more about what it means to grow up American."--Daisy Fried"Jason Schossler's poems touch the sky, buy drywall, and contemplate backyard mysteries. They tell stories. They spit ketchup to be like Gene Simmons. Their porches fall under the weight of sadness. They call us home to pay attention to objects that can't help but accumulate our pragmatic, hopeful lives."--Daniel Nester

80 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 2011

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Jason Schossler

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