My Favorite Tyrants by Joanne Diaz

My Favorite Tyrants

byJoanne Diaz

Paperback | March 28, 2014

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Winner of the 2014 Brittingham Prize in Poetry, selected by Naomi Shihab Nye
The word “tyrant” carries negative connotations, but in this new collection, Joanne Diaz tries to understand what makes tyranny so compelling, even seductive. These dynamic, funny, often poignant poems investigate the nature of tyranny in all of its forms—political, cultural, familial, and erotic. Poems about Stalin, Lenin, and Castro appear beside poems about deeply personal histories. The result is a powerful exploration of desire, grief, and loss in a world where private relationships are always illuminated and informed by larger, more despotic forces.

Winner, Midwest Book Award for Poetry, Midwest Independent Publishers Association

About The Author

Joanne Diaz is an assistant professor of English at Illinois Wesleyan University. She is the author of an earlier collection of poems, The Lessons, and her poetry has appeared in AGNI, The American Poetry Review, and Prairie Schooner, among other publications. She is also a past recipient of writing fellowships from the Illinois Arts C...
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Details & Specs

Title:My Favorite TyrantsFormat:PaperbackDimensions:80 pages, 9 × 7 × 0.4 inPublished:March 28, 2014Publisher:University Of Wisconsin PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0299297845

ISBN - 13:9780299297848

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Read from the Book

Don’t get me wrong— I have my favorite tyrants. When the boots are shiny and the hair neatly combed, it means that a group of people, however misguided, lusty, or downright hateful, have collectively agreed to make a fuss, be modern, and, if not handsome, at least clean. And that cleanliness has always counted for a lot in a world where its promise is a kind of food. —excerpt from “a la Turka” © The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System. All rights reserved.

Table of Contents

1 The Perimeter of Pleasure
Larry David on Corregidor
Little Terror
Motor City
77 Porter Street
The anatomy of my melancholy
Dog Whisperer
Queen Bee
a la Turka
Thank You, Brian Williams
2 Elegy
Purgatory Blues
The Nurse
What My Father Eats
Cuba Libre
Demeter’s Last Stand
Two Emergencies
The Watch List
Visit to Fox Hill Cemetery
In my father’s favorite photo
Emerson in Mourning
A Billerica Romance
3 Metastasis
Pride and Prejudice
Take Up and Read
Metastasis, Boracay
Uncle Ming Pinched Me
My Funny Valentine
In Praise of Silence
On the Meeting of Larry David and Antonin Artaud
The Appalachian Italian Americans

Editorial Reviews

“[Diaz’s] poems are nakedly aware of political realities while possessed of an urgent grace.”—Library Journal