Southeast Students to Launch Humorous Poetry Book

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., April 12, 2005 ᾰ Four Southeast Missouri State University students and one Southeast alumnae will give a poetry reading to launch a book in which some of their poems appear on Saturday, April 16 at 6 p.m. at the Sidewalk Sandwich café at 117 Themis St. in Cape Girardeau.

Shawn McLain, Wade Christian and Dustin Michael, all of Cape Girardeau, and Anthony Bertram, of Wright City, are students in the Department of English at Southeast. Marybeth Rhodes, of Cape Girardeau, is a 2004 graduate of Southeast, who earned her major in philosophy and currently is employed at The Book Rack.

The book, titled Asinine Love Poetry, is a collection of humorous, tongue-in-cheek poems about love and lack thereof. It was edited by Richie Narvaez, a New York-based writer and founder of the Web site, Asininepoetry.com, an online journal to which the five local writers contribute. The book will be on sale at the reading and is available at Barnes & Noble Booksellers and through Amazon.com.

The “asinine” poets pride themselves on not taking themselves too seriously (all contributors’ names appear in a section of the Web site labeled, “hack list”), which is not to say they don’t care about poetry. McLain, for instance, is already a widely published writer featured previously by the Southeast Missourian, and editor of Southeast’s Journey Literary Magazine. Bertram is co-host of a radio show on Southeast’s KDMC 103.7FM and a singer/songwriter who performs frequently at local coffee shops. All are veterans of advanced creative writing workshops moderated by Dr. Susan Swartwout, director of the Southeast Missouri State University Press, through the Department of English. These poets are padding their professional poet portfolios ᾰ adding a little grin to the grim.  

“You hear a lot of poet-types who constantly go off with dark poems about drugs and violence and how hopeless the world is, how nothing means anything and how much cooler America would be without a government, and that’s fine,” said Michael, who traveled to New York City on April 3 to participate in the Asinine Love Poetry book launch there.

 “On the other hand, some people would rather hear somebody stand up and rhyme ‘booger’ with ‘sugar,’ and those are the people we’re reaching out to.”

For further information, contact Richie Narvaez at (212) 346-1218, or e-mail editor@asininepoetry.com.