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April 2015
104 pages  

6 x 9
9780822963387
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Brain Camp
Webb, Charles Harper
Brain Camp explores with clarity and vividness a wide spectrum of emotions—love to hate, tenderness to brutality—all from a perspective both universal yet distinctly Webb's. Metaphors of startling aptness and originality, a voice at once endearing and provocative, high musicality, propulsive energy, wild imaginative leaps, as well as a mastery of diction from lyricism to street-speak, create a reading experience of the first order.

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Charles Harper Webb is the author of numerous poetry collections, including Reading the Water, Liver, Tulip Farms and Leper Colonies, Hot Popsicles, Amplified Dog, Shadow Ball: New and Selected Poems, and What Things Are Made Of. His poems have appeared in Best American Poetry, the Pushcart Prize, and Poets of the New Century. Webb has received the Morse Prize, Kate Tufts Discovery Award, Pollak Prize, and Saltman Prize, the Whiting Writer's Award, and a Guggenheim fellowship, among other honors. He is professor of English at California State University, Long Beach, and teaches in the MFA in creative writing program there.
"Webb writes with vinegar and honey. We're made to feel part of a coterie of inside jokes and clever references, and Webb is a welcoming guide into his world of sardonic asides and awed tributes. The voice in these poems is both dark and light, droll but touching, caustic yet nostalgic, wryly winking and nodding while clearly embracing the absurd."—The Los Angeles Review

“Charles Harper Webb delights in disorder; no byte of arcane data is off-limits to his hyper-creative imagination as he performs linguistic feats of mind-stretching magnitude. He delights in order as well. In Brain Camp he expertly weaves together personal anecdote, pop culture, and high lyric emotion with seemingly inexhaustible insight into the human condition as we daily experience it.”—Laurence Goldstein, author of Poetry Los Angeles: Reading the Essential Poems of the City

“Charles Harper Webb remains a dynamo of high spirits, a poet whose steadfast exuberance suggests a kind of poetic ease. But anyone who has read Webb knows his enthralling poems are always shaped by an intelligence that is both disciplined and intrepid. The title Brain Camp, of course, implies as much. Imaginative, sly, and perceptive: these new poems show why Webb is one of our great wisecracking wise men, ‘a prophet whose best answer is, 'We'll see.’ This is a terrific collection.”—Terrance Hayes

“As it turns out, there is a poetry equivalent to Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. Charles Harper Webb’s poems zig and zag through real and imaginary constructs, with language as the vehicle that hurdles the reader through experience in all its gorgeous weirdness. Webb constantly threatens to throw back the motorcar’s restraining bar, because there is no safety, in his world, from the vagaries of passion, joy and fear. His poems fling the reader into realms of heaven and hell, and there is Webb, saying: I was here.”—Patty Seyburn

[Webb is] a real wisecracker whose poems shimmer with wit. He’s full of an exuberant whimsy, his brain on steroids, often wise, and nothing if not entertaining. ‘Brain Camp’ certainly offers a welcome vacation for anybody looking to be intellectually amused by a guy with a gift for making fun of things.”--Concho River Review

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Powered by a fierce, compassionate intelligence, Brain Camp explores with clarity and vividness a wide spectrum of emotions—love to hate, tenderness to brutality—all from a perspective both universal yet distinctly Webb's. Metaphors of startling aptness and originality, a voice at once endearing and provocative, high musicality, propulsive energy, wild imaginative leaps, as well as a mastery of diction from lyricism to street-speak, create a reading experience of the first order. These poems go down easy, but pack a wallop. As Robert Frost said poetry should do, Brain Camp "begins in delight and ends in wisdom."
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