Order your copy now!
October 2011 · 978-1-936511-01-3 · 80 pages · 6 x 9 · $15 paperback
Be the first on your street to have a copy of this fabulous poetry collection!
For bookstores/trade orders, click here.
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 richly detailed poem-stories about a small-town Ohio childhood, Jason Schossler enacts the vertigo of individual experience inside collective memory: Star Wars games, car parts, Anglophilia among the Cocoa Puffs, a mother’s mouth ‘forming the zeros of loss,’ a neighbor whose ‘eyes shone like glass bottles out of the sea’ in his fervor for Jesus. Mud Cakes is alert and detail-rich, charming and estranging in just the right proportion. Reading it, we learn more about what it means to grow up American.”
— Daisy Fried, author of She Didn’t Mean to Do it
“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
"Winner of the 2010 Melissa Lanitis Gregory Poetry Prize, this quietly powerful autobiographical collection chronicles a Midwestern Gen-X boyhood, where exciting dreams of Star Wars and movie monsters give way to the more drab and painful struggles of his parents' divorce, and the losing battle of his Catholic conscience against teenage lust. Schossler narrates the essential facts of a moment that stands in for an entire relationship, allowing the reader to make the connections that his childhood self couldn't see."