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What Poets Are Like Hardcover – 7 Oct 2013

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Sasquatch Books (7 Oct. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570618747
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570618741
  • Product Dimensions: 11.9 x 1.6 x 18.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,865,160 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"If you believe that the most important thing any piece of writing can do is to drop the reader into the center of an author's thoughts, then Gary Soto's What Poets Are Like is the book for you. It is funny, heartfelt, instructive and erudite while remaining, in a storyteller's way, wryly entertaining. Check it out, you won't be disappointed."Oscar Hijuelos, author of "The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love" "The writer at work and in life takes a serpentine path. Gary Soto's story is sweet, bittersweet, and at times quite funny."Shawn Wong, author of "American Knees" "[Soto's] charming, though-provoking vignettes about everything from receiving his MFA by mail to domestic downsizing are best read one or a few at a time. This enables the readers to better savor his sometimes rueful wit and appreciation of time passing, as in his attempt to perfectly align adjacent window blinds... As one reads and mulls over these brief glimpses into Soto's literary mind, his words expand their meaning, application, and worth like flowers from seeds. Soto describes 'lakes of memory filling my eyes, ' and recalls 'the geese darkening the sky of an autumn afternoon...winging south, their eyes filled with the memory of lakes.' So, too, do the essays gathered here fill and nourish us.""Booklist" "Gary Soto's collection of short, autobiographical essays are highly particular and personal, specific to Soto himself. And Soto's wry, occasionally self-deprecating sense of humor means that, far from extolling the virtues of leading a writer's life, many of the pieces contained in this collection point out its travails, its small indignities for anyone less of a "big shot" than Stephen King or John Grisham. This would be depressing to read if it weren't for Soto's comic timing and charming prose, which is carefully crafted to allow as much of his personal idiom and character as possible onto the page. ...the biggest link among the essays is Soto's voice itself, w

About the Author

Gary Soto is a widely published author of children's and young adult fiction, and he is an acclaimed poet. With a sharp sense of storytelling and a sly wit, What Poets Are Like is a memoir of the writing life that shares the keen observation, sense of self and humor of such writers as Sherman Alexie and Nora Ephron.

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Format: Hardcover
What Poets Are Like: Up and Down with the Writing Life collects sixty short essays by Gary Soto. Soto is an acclaimed American poet, as well as the author of many books for young readers.

This isn't an instruction book for writing poetry, or a memoir. You won't even really learn "what poets are like" - but rather, what this poet is like, what makes him and his poetic engine tick.

Soto's casual style gives the impression of a conversation with a friend; these could be stories told over a cup of coffee.

Among the topics: the pain of being cut loose by a longtime publisher; a lost hat and its discovered fate; on downsizing a book collection; poetry's lack of reward; on the possibility of living to 120 - and writing poetry; a chance encounter with a former student; fellow poets; a photo of Cesar Chavez; the day the MFA arrived in the mail; The Gary Soto Literary Museum; football games. Here is a multitude of everyday concerns - easy to relate to and enjoy whether you're interested in poetry or not. But for fellow writers, Soto's words will mean even more.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 7 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Sixty essays reveal the life of poet Gary Soto 20 Aug. 2013
By Denise R. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
What Poets Are Like: Up and Down with the Writing Life collects sixty short essays by Gary Soto. Soto is an acclaimed American poet, as well as the author of many books for young readers.

This isn't an instruction book for writing poetry, or a memoir. You won't even really learn "what poets are like" - but rather, what this poet is like, what makes him and his poetic engine tick.

Soto's casual style gives the impression of a conversation with a friend; these could be stories told over a cup of coffee.

Among the topics: the pain of being cut loose by a longtime publisher; a lost hat and its discovered fate; on downsizing a book collection; poetry's lack of reward; on the possibility of living to 120 - and writing poetry; a chance encounter with a former student; fellow poets; a photo of Cesar Chavez; the day the MFA arrived in the mail; The Gary Soto Literary Museum; football games. Here is a multitude of everyday concerns - easy to relate to and enjoy whether you're interested in poetry or not. But for fellow writers, Soto's words will mean even more.

Disclosure: I received an advance copy from the publisher, in order to provide honest feedback, whether positive or negative.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Poetic Truth 23 Dec. 2013
By Susan F. Lick - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What a delight this book is. The fun starts with the look of it, a smaller than average 4 1/2 by 7 1/4 hardback with a picture of a penguin on the front. It feels good in the hand. That good feeling extends to the inside. I’m not sure if non-writers will identify with Soto the way I do, but this collection of moments from Soto’s life as a writer delight me in their truth. This is what it’s really like. You schedule a reading and nobody comes. Your fans adore you, but most of the world has no idea who you are, and your work is still getting rejected. These pieces are prose, but they read like poetry, especially the title essay, “What Poets are Like,” which begins, “They are fun, then not fun. They are tall within themselves, but very short when applying for food stamps...They are made of air and words...” Then there’s the one where Soto dresses in a suit to attend a 49ers game and sits there talking about Hemingway while the fans around him throw peanuts at him. Love this book.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Soto and his evolution as a writer 16 Nov. 2014
By David Polochanin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
If you enjoy Gary Soto's poetry and short stories, you will hear his voice come through in this collection of short essays. His book covers his life as a writer and provides a look at what informs his writing. Writing adult poetry has been his passion, but he has probably found more success writing books for children. Soto discusses his frustrations (including consumers using his work without permission; rejection) and high points (including how he met his wife.) This collection is an easy, enjoyable read, and any fan of Soto will learn something new about this great author.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Poet humor 6 April 2014
By G. J. Davis - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Yes, there is such a thing as poet humor and it rocks. Poets aren't always sitting around in garrets depressed or sticking their heads in ovens. Some of them like to wear cashmere and go the baseball game. Some of them can tell jokes.

This is a marvelous collection of short pieces easy to digest before falling asleep and leaving a smile of wisdom on your face.
Even if you hate poetry you will like Gary Soto. He's a good drinking companion.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Vignettes to make you smile and laugh aloud 15 Aug. 2014
By JM - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Funny, intelligent, sharply observed, gently delivered portrayl of the working life of a poet and his happy marriage. Reminds me in some ways of a contemporary James Thurber. An authentic California voice that will have you smiling and then unexpectedly guffawing outloud from the Central Valley to San Francisco! He pokes holes in everyone's pretentions, particularly his own. Highly recommended. Can be purchased directly from the author at garysoto.com.
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