miami university


The Printer’s Error


Aaron Fogel

2001. 1-881163-35-0 / 1-881163-36-9

The Printer's Error book cover

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Both funny and serious, this second poetry collection by Aaron Fogel matches stories with joltingly non-narrative poems. It mixes traditional forms like the villanelle with counter-forms like double alliteration, nine-syllable lines, words with all the vowel-letters crushed into them (“unsynchromadice”), and words with numbers interrupting the letters (“we5re”). Fogel’s poems amount to what used to be called pasquinade or menippean satire, a lower-middle class art that refuses to buy into the easy caricatures of that class. The book includes a poem about a young man named Brat who breaks a sculptural portrait of himself done by his father; a prose-poem about Yiddish; and a set of comic sketches about the mock-sorrows of academic life, family aging, and the place of low jokes in poetry.

“Of the overlooked poets of our time, Aaron Fogel may be the most brilliant and the most imaginatively complex. If you haven't read him, there is great pleasure in your immediate future. I love his work.’
—David Lehman

“Aaron Fogel lets his extraordinary and thoroughly original intelligence write his heartbreaking, witty and complex poems for him. Some of his poems are fairly difficult—but theirs is an earned difficulty, born of the complexity of his thought, of his experience, of the world as he parses it and understands it. His poems are so smart and so surprising and so interesting, while constantly remaining loyal to the lackluster day-to-day actuality of this world.”
—Jacqueline Osherow

“Aaron Fogel’s poetry has impressed me for almost four decades. He is alive to the subtlest discrimination in the science of poetry and its architecture.”
—David Shapiro

About the Author

Photo of Aaron FogelAaron Fogel’s books include Chain Hearings (poems) and Coercion to Speak: Conrad’s Poetics of Dialogue (criticism). He is currently editing a collection of 20th century poets’ prose. Backdoor Books will soon publish his chapbook, Ornery Language Philosophy. His poems have appeared in such places as The Best American Poetry, Boulevard, and Slate. A Guggenheim Fellowship recipient, he lives with his wife Barbara and his son Adam in Cambridge. He teaches at Boston University