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The Abyss Gazes Also with John Yamrus

  • Broadcast in Writing



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“The poetry of John Yamrus demands more attention. There is real blood in this man’s work.”—Todd Moore

“John Yamrus, to me, is the Jim Henson of poetry. Combining a wry sense of humor, acuity of vision, and directness of language, his most recent collection of short poems, They Never Told Me This Would Happen, is a reader’s delight. Yamrus pulls the strings, inhabits the body, projects the voice of his own combination of Oscar the Grouch and Big Bird: playful, gripy, and slyly optimistic. From the nontraditional love song “she” to the playful tease of “Q” to the life lesson of “the,” Yamrus’ voice leads us through conventionally un-poetic terrain. They Never Told Me This Would Happen should be a primary text for every writer who thinks they know poetry.”—Annmarie Lockhart

John Yamrus has been a fixture on the poetry scene since 1970. He’s published nineteen volumes of poetry, two novels, and his poetry is widely published in magazines around the world. His poems have been taught at both the high school and the college level and selections of his work have been translated into several languages, including Spanish, Swedish, Italian, French, Japanese and Romanian. His work has been described by the great Milner Place as “... a blade made from smooth honest steel, with the sharpest of edges.”

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They Never Told Me This Would Happen by John Yamrus is available at