Poetry Book Society Recommendation. Tony Hoagland's zany poems poke and provoke at the same time as they entertain and delight.
He is American poetry's hilarious 'high priest of irony', a wisecracker and a risktaker whose disarming humour, self-scathing and tenderness are all fuelled by an aggressive moral intelligence.
He pushes the poem not just to its limits but over the edge. "Unincorporated Persons in the Late Honda Dynasty" is his first new collection since "What Narcissism Means to Me: Selected Poems" (Bloodaxe Books, 2005).
The poems - and title - try to make sense of the situation of the individual in our time, and in America in particular - Hoagland's obsessive main subject.
They worry over how to preserve a sense of self and values, connectedness and cohesiveness, in an era of market-driven culture, dazzling but toxic entertainment, and degraded and degrading idiocies cultivated by mass culture.