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The winner of the first Melissa Lanitis Gregory Poetry Prize, MUD CAKES is a deep and heartfelt examination of growing up in Middle America at a time when spiritual guidance comes from Luke Skywalker and KISS. Pop culture has replaced religion for a young boy in Ohio, and this collection of poems shows us how he uses modern mythologies to navigate the deterioration of his family. Poet Jason Schossler conjures images of childhood that evoke both the resilience of youth and its vulnerabilities.
PRAISE FOR MUD CAKES
Schossler's poems touch the sky, buy drywall, and contemplate backyard mysteries. They tell stories. They spit ketchup to be like Gene Simmons. Their porches fall under the weight of sadness. They call us home to pay attention to objects that can t help but accumulate our pragmatic, hopeful lives.
~Daniel Nester, author of How to Be Inappropriate
In his brilliant poem, Steinbeck's Route, and throughout Mud Cakes, Jason Schossler conjures the vital lives and vibrantly gimcracked landscape of an America Steinbeck would have missed. In these wildly populated poems, Schossler announces himself a master of narrative collage. Stanley Kunitz encouraged poets to live in the layers, not on the litter. Schossler discovers the layers in the litter, and from the litter, amazingly, he makes literature. The Force is with him.
~Daniel Tobin, Guggenheim fellow and author of The Narrows --Daniel Tobin, Guggenheim fellow and author of The Narrows
About the Author:
A two-time Pushcart Prize nominee, Jason Schossler is the recipient of the Edwin Markham Poetry Prize, Grist’s Emerging Writer award and the Sport Literate Poetry Contest. He also has received honorable mention in the Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest and was a finalist for the Astounding Beauty Ruffian Press Poetry Award.
Schossler’s poems and stories have appeared in The Sun, North American Review, Rattle, Poet Lore, The South Carolina Review, Roanoke Review, The Florida Review, Chrysalis Reader, and The Antioch Review. His work also has been anthologized in Drawn to Marvel: Poems from the Comic Books (Minor Arcana Press) and Uncle John’s Flush Fiction (The Bathroom Readers’ Institute), and he has twice read his poetry on National Public Radio.
He has been awarded four fellowships from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, as well as fellowships from the Ragdale Foundation, and Oberpfälzer Künstlerhaus in Germany. He teaches writing at Temple University and Cogswell Polytechnical College, and also works as a freelance legal journalist for Thomson Reuters. He lives in Devon, PA.