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You Kiss by th' Book

You Kiss by th' Book

New Poems from Shakespeare's Line

By Gary Soto


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In his engaging new collection, National Book Award finalist Gary Soto creates poems that each begin with a line from Shakespeare and then continue in Soto's fresh and accessible verse. Drawing on moments from the sonnets, Hamlet, Macbeth, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Romeo and Juliet, and others, Soto illuminates aspects of the source material while taking his poems in directions of their own, strategically employing the color of "thee" and "thine," kings, thieves, and lovers. The results are inspired, by turns meditative, playful, and moving, and consistently fascinating for the conversation they create between the Bard's time and language and our own here and now.

More Details

Size: 6 x 9 in;
Pages: 108 pp;
Format: Paperback
Publication: March 2016
ISBN: 9781452148298
Gary Soto is the author of 11 poetry collections for adults, including New and Selected Poems, a finalist for the National Book Award. His poems have appeared in many literary magazines and publications. He lives in Berkeley, California.

Media Reviews

“Shakespeare’s words are never more alive than when they are being seized upon, twisted, remade and made anew. Gary Soto, a brilliant recycler, has laden his ship with old gold. Himself a brilliant recycler, Shakespeare might well have been pleased.” —Stephen Greenblatt, General Editor, The Norton Shakespeare

“If we needed any evidence that Shakespeare is still (in that horrible word) “relevant,” and if we needed any that Gary Soto is an authentic voice of what poetry can be—must be—at this moment, You Kiss By th’ Book provides it. Soto uses a line of Shakespeare as the first line of each of his new, wonderful poems, making something completely and recognizably his own. These are poems that are playful, smart, surprising, and affecting—poems that are easy to read and difficult to forget.” —David Scott Kastan, Yale University

“Soto may be the most exciting poet of poverty in America to emerge since James Wright and Philip Levine.” —Poetry

“Soto insists on the possibility of a redemptive power, and he celebrates the heroic, quixotic capacity for survival in human beings and the natural world.” —Publishers Weekly

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