Uncategorized | January 12, 2006

The University of Wisconsin Press has published Funny by former TMR contributor Jennifer Michael Hecht. Winner of the 2005 Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry, Funny isn’t your typical poetry collection. Divided into three sections–“Sonnet on Mirth,” “Prosody on Comedy,” and “Sonnet on the Ribs of Laughter”–and including an 11-page essay on the “philosophy of funny,” many of Hecht’s poems emerge from old jokes. Billy Collins, who selected Funny for the Pollak Prize, writes, “Funny leaves no doubt that humor has finally reclaimed its legitimate place in American poetry. Playing off a catalogue of jokes we all recognize, as well as serious theories about the comic, Jennifer Michael Hecht has produced a collection like no other. Her poems are delights, transparently readable yet carefully crafted, precisely poised.” Hecht, a New York native and the author of two books of history and philosophy (Doubt and The End of the Soul), won the Poetry Society of America’s 2002 Norma Farber First Book Award for The Next Ancient World. Her poems appeared in TMR 23:1 (2000).