Yankee Broadcast Network, by John F. Buckley & Martin Ott

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“Surely there’s never been a better book of poetry about television.” -Campbell McGrath

“Time and again I laughed, I marveled.” -Eduardo C. Corral

“These poems are filled with contemporary profundities and ancient mysteries. They spill ever forwards like a movie you can’t quite believe you’re seeing.” -Matthew Rohrer

In this raucous follow-up to their highly praised debut of collaborative poetry, Poets’ Guide to America, Buckley & Ott set their sights on our relationship with TV. Everything is fair game with this duo, whose work combines humor, irreverence, and speculative flights of fancy to examine a culture enamored with the documentation of its identity.

Yankee Broadcast Network
by John F. Buckley and Martin Ott

Pub Date: October 1, 2014
72 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1-936767-33-5

 

 

 

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“Marshall McLuhan meets Barney Fife in this remarkable collection of sociocultural meditations disguised as mere poems. Surely there’s never been a better book of poetry about television, which Ott and Buckley satirize, analyze, and memorialize all the way back to its deftly-imagined prehistoric origins as “sheets of shale, vines, the juice / from primordial berries, lightning bugs,” etc, etc. This is terrifically entertaining poetry that deserves an audience as large as, though possibly less monstrous than, The Real Housewives of Wayne County.”

Campbell McGrath

“Highly caffeinated and rich with piety-tweaking lines, these poems entertain and surprise. Time and again I laughed, I marveled. In these poems, “elves make the toys but gnomes do the outdoor work,” the gods of Mount Olympus lose their remote control, and “we mistrust the rapture.” But beneath the linguistic swagger beats a truth: “we see screens and screens / see us.” Televised narratives shape and warp our perceptions of reality. But television also shapes and warps imagination. Yankee Broadcast Network is vivid proof. Quirky and kinetic language leaps off the pages. Brilliant riffs on reality television, game shows, and situation comedies amuse, jolt. Let me say it again: I laughed, I marveled.”

Eduardo C. Corral

“Everyone knows two wrongs actually do make a right; and two voices make an even grander voice. In Yankee Broadcast Network, Buckley and Ott mind-meld to make long poems in a singular voice that is ruminative, lyrical, magical, and to me, most importantly, hilarious. These poems are filled with contemporary profundities and ancient mysteries. They spill ever forwards like a movie you can’t quite believe you’re seeing.”

Matthew Rohrer

“If Charles Wright is Rothko’s Black on Maroon, Buckley and Ott are Koons’ Antiquity 3. You won’t find many Zen ruminations on the poetic silence here; the collection is an astonishing tour de farce, crammed with the recycled detritus of a low-boredom-threshold, bite-sized, prime-time chaos. In short, it’s a wonderful life preserver for our times. The poems are intelligent, rich, beautifully worked, garish, frequently lyrical, funny and moving, their cumulative momentum an essential antidote to a world we are so poorly designed to endure. Pick out a few lines, almost at random, and see how carefully laden with importance these poems really are: “life falling into itself,” “That’s the only tale that matters,” “Please wave goodbye as the lights dim.””

John Glenday

“Readers expecting routine Camp burlesques of recent TV shows will be happily surprised to find in Yankee Broadcast Network sophisticated re-visions of past and present specular entertainments set into intricate verbal designs. In their knowing way these strange poems perform the essential cultural task of articulating how and to what effects our daily lives and screen mythologies have become so thoroughly entangled. These are comic poems with the power to make readers inwardly weep.”

Laurence Goldstein

“Buckley and Ott have produced a razzle-dazzle, super-charged surf across the contemporary American landscape, and peopled it with befuddled characters hooked on media, hypnotized, and besotted with popular culture. When it’s not half-terrifying it’s crazy-funny. Don’t miss the account of a household where the remote keeps getting itself mysteriously lost, until finally it takes on a life of its own.”

Suzanne Lummis

Rebecca Bryant at Everyday Life:

“As a lover of books and poetry this is definitely one of my favorites right now.”

Kevin L Neinstel at WordBasket:

“This dystopian hangover of television’s reptile-brain . . . blurs boundaries between life and semi-scripted potboilers, reducing viewers to a dreamlike fugue where fever visions increasingly resemble MTV montages, or vice versa. . . . [T]hese poets capture not only the voyeuristic excess and shameless hucksterism behind the shows themselves, but also our childlike will to permit such content into our homes and minds.”

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MARTIN OTT lives in Los Angeles, where he writes often about his misunderstood  city. He is the author of three books of poetry and a novel, The Interrogator’s  Notebook (Story Merchant Books). He blogs at writeliving.wordpress.com.

A recent graduate of the Helen Sell Writers’ Program at the University of  Michigan, JOHN F. BUCKLEY has been writing poetry since an attempt at writing a  self-help book went somehat awry. After a twenty-year stint on and near the West  Coast, he now lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan with his wife. His website is www.johnfbuckley.net.

Yankee Broadcast Network excerpt

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