Equipment for Living: On Poetry and Pop, Mostly (Simon & Schuster, forthcoming) •
"What puts his poems over is their sheer joy and dizzy command.... Reading Mr. Robbins's best stuff makes you feel something new is being flogged into existence.... He has a sky-blue originality of utterance." — Dwight Garner, The New York Times •
University of Chicago PhD twitter/instagram: @alienvsrobbins please direct all publicity requests to Kristin.Matzen@us.penguingroup.com
"Embrace Michael Robbins as a damned funny poet, but appreciate that he's a damned good craftsman too. Melded to the punch line is the prosody—a trochee here, a Dickinsonian stanza there, a brush stroke that conjures Mayakovsky, a pie in the face to Basho. The easiest way to say it is this: prepare to be impressed."—Lisa Jarnot
"These poems are bad for you, the way alcohol, cigarettes, coffee, bacon, carbohydrates, television and the internet are bad for you. Better pick up extra copies for your villa, your chalet, your hutment, your yurt, and your sidewalk grate."—Jordan Davis
A new episode of On Stage at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe is up! It features clips from Integrating Influence: A Poetry Reading and Discussion, Say It to My Face: Confronting the Comments Section, and Hey Ladies! Live. You can listen (and subscribe!) on Soundcloud or iTunes. Enjoy!
UPDATE UPDATE: Now it works again for some reason.
UPDATE: The song stopped working here for some reason, but it can be found on Shannon’s blog here.
Shannon McArdle, formerly of the Mendoza Line (one of my favorite bands), has made a song of my poem "Country Music," to be included on her forthcoming album, A Touch of Class. Proud to premiere it here.
Engineered by Clint Newman. Masterfully performed by Clint Newman (guitar, drums, shaker) and Bob van Pelt (bass). Interpreted and performed by Shannon McArdle, Shandelion Music (BMI).
lyrics by Michael Robbins
(N.B. The poem, as it appears online at The New Yorker, is misprinted without stanza breaks. It should appear in quatrains.)
Nick Spencer begins his spirited history of atheism with a fairy tale. Once upon a time, people lived in ignorant superstition, offering sacrifices to monsters in the sky. Then some clever folks used special weapons called “science” and “reason” to show that the monsters had never really existed in the…
"Fame is a fickle food," Emily Dickinson wrote upon the occasion of David Markson’s death in 2010. "Pretty much the high point of experimental fiction in this country," David Foster Wallace called Markson’s novels (or "novels"), which sold about a thousand copies, but everyone who bought one started a band.
This was a different kind of conversation than one you might have had with the parish priest or a friend; for one thing, the analyst was often more concerned with the form of your speech than with the gist of what you were telling him — he listened as much to what you weren’t saying or didn’t know you were saying. We tell ourselves stories in order to live, in Joan Didion’s formulation, but Freud knew we tell them also in order to avoid living.