The University of Wisconsin Press



Jennifer Michael Hecht

The Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry
Ronald Wallace, General Editor

Winner of the 2005 Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry, selected by Billy Collins

A tour de force, Funny is a masterpiece of poetic, as well as philosophic and comic, invention. It creates a musing world where the issues are philosophical but the focus is always on people, on our most private ways of balancing our accounts. The poems are psychological; tender and humane, and somehow ruthless. This is poetry that swarms with ideas, that revels in rhythmic intricacy and literary references, but is also clear as a bell and tells marvelous stories.

"Funny leaves no doubt that humor has finally reclaimed its legitimate place in American poetry."—Billy Collins

"Guy calls the doctor, says the wife's
contractions are five minutes apart
Doctor says, Is this her first child?
guy says, No, it's her husband.

I promise to remember who
I am."

—excerpt from "Love Explained"

"No one will ever explain why what's funny is funny . . . but we have to try, and you will not find better meditations on the matter than these deep, delightful poems."—Ted Cohen, author of Jokes: Philosophical Thoughts on Joking Matters

"Playing off a catalogue of jokes which 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." —Billy Collins

Jennifer Michael Hecht is a historian who has published several scholarly volumes and one previous collection of poetry. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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cover of Funny is a dark blue, with a photo of a bowl of soup in the center. The soup is seen from above, it looks like tomato soup, and it has a dollop of cream and a sprig of parsley on it.

November 2005
LC: 2005011174 PS
88 pp.  6 x 9
computer graphics

Cloth edition, ISBN 0-299-21400-1, is out of print.

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Paper $15.95 t
ISBN 978-0-299-21404-3
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