Episode 148 — Michael Robbins


Michael Robbins is the guest. His debut poetry collection, Alien vs. Predator, was named one of the best books of 2012 by The New York Times, Slate, Commonweal, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, and The Millions.

Dwight Garner of the The New York Times says

Mr. Robbins’s heart is not lovely but beating a bit arrhythmically; not dark but lighted by a dangling disco ball; not deep but as shallow and alert as a tidal buoy facing down a tsunami. Yet it’s a heart crammed full, like a goose’s liver, with pagan grace. This man can write.

And Sasha Frere-Jones says

You may notice the cultural references first — Guns N’ Roses, Eric B. & Rakim, Fleetwood Mac, M*A*S*H, Star Wars — and be tempted to tie Robbins to these anchors. But there are as many contemporary references in Eliot and Pound and Horace as there are in Robbins: carbon-dating isn’t what distinguishes these poems. Robbins works in traditional and nontraditional forms that pivot on the beat, which he turns around, seamlessly and ruthlessly. The thread here is a long-distance conversation crammed into the available enjambment, as charged as the pop songs that play beneath the words.

Monologue topics:  Patrick Swayze, tweets, drones.