[04/13/2021] How to Be Better by Being Worse by Justin Jannise
BOA Editions, paperback
Publication Date: April 13, 2021
Publisher Marketing: Selected by Richard Blanco as winner of the 2019 A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize, Justin Jannise turns the self-help manual on its head inHow to Be Better by Being Worse.
These poems flout, subvert, question, and ignore the rules with exploratory energy. Queer experiences are celebrated--from crushing on long-dead, sad-eyed poets to drag divas dancing at Halloween parties--gender constructs are questioned, and familial transgressions are laid bare for the world.
Delightfully modulating between flippant, sincere, and back again,How to Be Better by Being Worsefreely indulges in harmless wickedness as its speaker grows in self-awareness, slowly learning to let go of inherited shame while continuing to seek self-forgiveness for the harms he has caused the outside world.