Indiana Noble Sad Man of the Year
by Steve Henn
paperback, 106 pages
Indiana Noble Sad Man of the Year is Steve Henn’s third book of verse. As in his previous volumes, Henn does hand-to-hand combat with the absurdity of daily life, including our experiences with the pervasive media—Facebook, cell phones, Internet ads, movies, self-promotion, and dreams. These new poems are born of the same live performance energy that produced his first two books. Henn dedicates this book to his four children, whose drawings and paintings serve effectively as illustrations. The book might earn a PG rating if poetry publications were voluntarily policed by, say, the Academy of American Poets. It tells a father’s story in a form that a child may begin to comprehend, but it speaks even more powerfully to adults. Every confession, every raw dream, nudges us toward recognition—not asking us to acknowledge our collusion, but inviting us to empathize. Henn’s poems are at once critical and confessional, often using dramatic irony to turn the critical spotlight on the speaker. Yet he resists the compulsion to blame. The poems lead to laughter and release, and in this sense they are expressions of patience, with himself and with other people. Like Charles Bukowski or Allen Ginsberg, Henn broadens and deepens our feelings, opening the way to a humane existence in an absurd world. Illustrated.
About the Author
Steve Henn teaches high school English in northern Indiana. His books include Guilty Prayer (Main Street Rag 2021), Indiana Noble Sad Man of the Year (Wolfson 2017), and American Male (Main Street Rag 2022). His four children illustrated his Sad Man book. Henn gives poetry readings in all kinds of places, from Pittsburgh to Long Beach, travel conditions and money conditions and time permitting. Catch up with him at his home page, The Real Steve Henn.