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ISBN: 978-1-62557-929-4
Categories Poetry

No Soap, Radio!

Publication Date: August 2015


“Mutability may be the rightful subject of the twenty-first century, and if it is, Bruce Cohen’s No Soap, Radio! is its funny, wise, and cantankerous handbook. These poems, part Luddite, part intrepid time traveler, inspect, reject, and grumpily give in to the racket of change: the slippage of language from pun to insight, gender transition at the gym, the endless potential of marital argument late capitalism-style, and vacations on which picking out burial sites is every bit as much fun as finding real monsters under the motel room bed. The mission here is to ‘pinpoint where it all went chaotic,’ and each poem charms us with oddly reassuring reminders of demolished places where, like Cohen’s displaced Tu Fu, we finally discovered we were supposed to be.”

-Lisa Lewis author of Vivisect

No Soap, Radio! is a carnival ride of poetry. This book is whipsmart and strange, unsettling and joyous. Bruce Cohen interweaves the comic and the absurd with heartstopping tenderness. Crackling with jubilant complexity, these poems whirl and gut punch through today’s weird living-where ‘most of us / are in a constant state of personal revision.’ To shape his body for the beach, Tu Fu is ‘all about protein.’ But the vivid grace of Cohen’s poems is the way he Frankensteins together giddy and goddamn! In No Soap, Radio! you will find yourself the lucky winner of the most coveted prize in the midway-magnificent fun, jabbing you back into the exuberance of being fully alive.”

-Alex Lemon author of The Wish Book and Happy: A Memoir

Bruce Cohen knows how to surprise and entertain. In No Soap, Radio! Tu Fu explores New York City, a sheet of paper falls ‘Icarus-like,’ and a man confesses, ‘I speak in a Felix the Cat voice/ after a third vodka.’ Wise to both the vetted and the lowbrow, the speaker in these poems is forthright, curious, and snarky. But beneath the exhilarating swagger, a world-weary loneliness pulses. Cohen transforms the loneliness into ‘gossip & little reminisces’ that tether-sometimes briefly-one life to another life. Highly entertaining, yes. But these poems are also empathic, brave.”

-Eduardo C. Corral author Slow Lightning, Yale Younger Poet Winner

About the Author

Bruce Cohen

Born in the Bronx, New York, Bruce Cohen’s poems and non-fiction essays have appeared in over a hundred literary periodicals such as AGNI, The Georgia Review, The Harvard Review, The New Yorker, Ploughshares, Poetry, Prairie Schooner & The Southern Review as well as being featured on Poetry Daily & Verse Daily—He has published three previous volumes of poetry: Disloyal Yo-Yo (Dream Horse Press), which was awarded the 2007 Orphic Poetry Prize, Swerve (Black Lawrence Press) and Placebo Junkies Conspiring with the Half-Asleep (Black Lawrence Press). A new manuscript, Imminent Disappearances, Impossible Numbers & Panoramic X-Rays recently won the Green Rose Prize from New Issues Press and will be published in spring 2016. A recipient of an individual artist grant from the Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism, prior to joining the Creative Writing faculty at the University of Connecticut in 2012, he directed, developed, and implemented nationally recognized academic enhancement programs at the University of Arizona, The University of California at Berkeley, and the University of Connecticut.

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