Verse and Worse
Selected and New Poems of Steve McCaffery 1989-2009
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$16.95 Paper, 90 pp.
Verse and Worse: Selected and New Poems of Steve McCaffery 1989–2009 presents texts from the last two decades of work by Steve McCaffery, one of the most influential and innovative of contemporary poets. The volume focuses on selections from McCaffery’s major texts, including The Black Debt, Theory of Sediment, The Cheat of Words, and Slightly Left of Thinking, but also features a substantial number of previously ungathered poems. As playful as they are cerebral, McCaffery’s poems stage an incessant departure from conventional lyrical and narrative methods of making meaning. For those encountering McCaffery’s work for the first time as well as for those who have followed the twists and turns of his astonishingly heterogeneous poetic trajectory over the past four decades—this volume is essential reading.
Darren Wershler is the author or co-author of ten books, most recently The Iron Whim: A Fragmented History of Typewriting (2007) and, with Bill Kennedy, apostrophe (2006). The former senior editor of Coach House Books, Wershler is an assistant professor of communication studies at Wilfrid Laurier University, faculty at the Canadian Film Centre Interactive Art and Entertainment Program, and a research affiliate of the IP Osgoode Intellectual Property Law & Technology program.
Steve McCaffery is the author of over twenty-five books of poetry and criticism. He has twice been awarded the Gertrude Stein Award for innovative poetry and twice shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award. His poems have been published in more than a dozen countries. A long-time resident of Toronto, he is currently the David Gray Professor of Poetry and Letters, University at Buffalo.
“The wait...was worthwhile, as [WLU Press has] released a volume that captures the essence of McCaffery.”
— John Herbert Cunningham, Prairie Fire
“The quest for a wider audience for poetry may be quixotic, but this series makes a serious attempt to present attractive, affordable selections that speak to contemporary interests and topics that might engage a younger generation of readers. Yet it does not condescend, preferring to provide substantial and sophisticated poets to these new readers. At the very least, these slim volumes will make very useful introductory teaching texts in post-secondary classrooms because they whet the appetite without overwhelming.”
— Paul Milton, Canadian Literature