They Don't Kill You Because They're Hungry, They Kill You Because They're Full

Mark Bibbins

From his sardonic title onward, Mark Bibbins confronts readers with formally innovative and socially alert writing that lays bare the discombobulation of collective and individual existence. “If you’re going to carry your gorgeous head around / in a sack,” he advises, “let it be / this beige plastic one.” Bibbins pulls such figures as Medusa, Andy Warhol, and Pat Robertson into poems that incite thorny yet spirited examinations of power, sexuality, and gender. Roving across the weird human landscape, these poems counter dread with wit, chaos with clarity (and sometimes more chaos), reminding us that the suffering contained in any historical moment is “small // compared to what.”

ISBN: 9781556594588

Format: Paperback

About the Author

Mark Bibbins is the author of three books with Copper Canyon: 13th Balloon; They Don’t Kill You Because They’re Hungry, They Kill You Because They’re Full, named one of the best poetry collections of 2014 by Publishers Weekly; and The Dance of No Hard Feelings. He teaches in the graduate writing programs at Columbia University and The New School, where he co-founded LIT magazine, and in NYU’s Writers in Florence program. His work has appeared in Poetry, The New Yorker, …

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“The book’s a little crazy, packed with air quotes and brackets, jokes and condemnations, forms that explode across the page. Crazily enough, it’s also packed with truth.” —NPR

“The voice of this third book from Bibbins is marked and numbed by the onslaught of American media and politics that saturate the Internet, television, radio, and smartphone: ‘the way things are going, children/ will have to upgrade to more amusing.’ Much like advertisements or news stories vying for viewer’s attention, the book intentionally overwhelms, eschewing sections; the author instead differentiates the poems by repetition, creating a sort of echo chamber, similar to the way viral information cycles through social media platforms.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Whip-smart and wickedly funny, They Don’t Kill You is Bibbins’s most authoritative and self-possessed collection to date.” —Boston Review