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What Poets Are Like Hardcover – 7 Oct 2013

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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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 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,671,174 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


"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, which is lively and funny and present, especially when Soto is making self-deprecating references to the youth of today." Zyzzyva "These pieces offer glimpses of his life that are both pleasing (the memory of first meeting his wife, of meeting a loyal fan who named her dog after him) and poignant (the pang of facing empty chairs at a book reading). The essays move back and forth in time, addressing bittersweet topics that include aging, the problematic nature of success and the demise of the publishing world as Soto once knew it." Kirkus Reviews "With effortlessly honest introspections, acclaimed poet Gary Soto describes the wide-ranging experiences of the writing life in all its extremes. Soto bares his memories--the awards and the rejections, the recognition and the indifference--with grace, like a well-seasoned writer should... And he is satirically funny, even if the fun being had is at his own expense." World Literature Today "In 60 witty prose pieces, the Berkeley poet muses on book signings, party talk and the chimp cage at the Oakland Zoo." San Francisco Chronicle "Chicano poet and an author of children's and young adult fiction, Gary Soto examines the writer's life in this lovely memoir, making observations on everything from the low place of poets on the proverbial totem pole to the surplus of time he spends with felines." Los Angeles Magazine "Fresno author Gary Soto has written about a host of topics related to community, family and place, through the prism of his Mexican-American heritage. His latest book examines those themes on a personal level." The Fresno Bee ..".a funny and engaging 'writer's confession, ' very short stories about the realities of life as a poet that sometimes turn into poems." Tampa Bay Times "Feisty and funny, 'What Poets Are Like' offers generous insights into the literary life." The Bellingham Herald "Soto, the child of working-class Mexican-Americans, has not had an undistinguished poetic career. He has won awards and fellowships, been nominated for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. (He's also the author of several successful books for children and young adults.) But 'What Poets Are Like: Up and Down With the Writing Life, ' a loose collection of mostly autobiographical vignettes and anecdotes, is full of genial self-mockery... Soto's an amiable rambler, a born yarn-spinner." The Chicago Tribune "The pleasure Soto takes in the written word, a dose of comic relief plus his appreciation of the decisive moment in life make this an engaging and readable writer's confession." Ars Poetica Library "What Poets are Like: Up and Down With the Writing Life, by Gary Soto, is a beguiling, funny, self-mocking account of life as a not Name Brand poet." Slow Muse "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." Empty Mirror

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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29 November 2013
Format: Hardcover
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Most helpful customer reviews on 4.7 out of 5 stars 7 reviews
Susan F. Lick
5.0 out of 5 starsPoetic Truth
23 December 2013 - Published on
Format: Hardcover|Verified Purchase
2 people found this helpful.
G. J. Davis
5.0 out of 5 starsPoet humor
6 April 2014 - Published on
Format: Hardcover|Verified Purchase
One person found this helpful.
J. Enderle
4.0 out of 5 starsAuthors Will Appreciate This
29 September 2013 - Published on
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Denise R.
4.0 out of 5 starsSixty essays reveal the life of poet Gary Soto
20 August 2013 - Published on
Format: Hardcover
7 people found this helpful.
The customer is always right
5.0 out of 5 starsSoto and his evolution as a writer
16 November 2014 - Published on
Format: Hardcover
One person found this helpful.

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