The University of Wisconsin Press
Help is on the Way
Four Lakes Poetry Series
Garrison Keillor read a poem from Help Is on the Way for the Writer's Almanac on May 31, 2012.
Help Is on the Way takes readers from the subways of New York City to the savannas of Paleolithic Africa to the transplant ward of Kyoto University Hospital. But whatever their setting, these poems are enlivened by the subtle music, penetrating wit, and remarkable emotional honesty that won high praise for John Brehm’s earlier collection, Sea of Faith, and constitute his singularly engaging voice.
“I need to accept you as you are,” she said,
“so you need to become the kind
of person I can accept.” I was
becoming bewildered, but I don’t
think that’s what she meant.
“Life Insurance,” she said. “You
don’t have any Life Insurance.”
“But we’ve only known each other
three months. Aren’t we jumping ahead?”
“Look,” she said, “I don’t want
to have to take my child and move
back to Chicago and live with my mother.
I don’t want to have to take my child
to a public clinic. And I don’t want to
have to ride you and nag you and ask you . . .—excerpt from:
“Of Love and Life Insurance: An Argument”
The Best American Poetry website is also featuring one of John Brehm's poems.
John Brehm’s poems have appeared in Poetry, The Gettysburg Review, The Southern Review, Gulf Coast, Barrow Street, Prairie Schooner, the Missouri Review and many other journals and anthologies. He is author of Sea of Faith, winner of the 2004 Brittingham Prize in Poetry, and associate editor of The Oxford Book of American Poetry. He lived in New York City for many years and now resides in Portland, Oregon
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Of Related Interest:
Sea of Faith
LC: 2011041957 PS
80 pp. 6 x 9
Paper $16.95 t
"Brehm’s poems are sexy, funny, often brilliantly crafted, and wonderfully sweet at their core."
—David Daniel, Ploughshares
"Reading John Brehm,
it is difficult not to be charmed by his voice and glittering wit... Brehm is the poet-friend you’ve always wanted...a plain-speaking raconteur— delightfully hyperbolic, ironic, and comically self-deprecating."
—Mike Wilmot, Prairie Schooner
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Updated May 25, 2012© 2012, The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System