Poetry. AMERICAN SONGBOOK is a poetic response to the grand sweep of recorded vocal music in the 20th century. The poems are based on 75 recordings, with singers ranging from Bessie Smith to Tupac Shakur, and songs from a little-known Lomax prison recording to the last No.1 pop hit in the century. Many musical traditions inform the poems, including blues, jazz, gospel, country, folk, bluegrass, electric blues, R&B, rock, disco and hip hop.
"You can sing along to Michael Ruby's delirious new poems, your voice echoing down (to mis-quote Fred Neil) 'the canyons of your mind,' until you can't sing any more and the poem goes off on its own. This book is like a blueprint for storming the castle—all the little guys in the tower shooting arrows as we cross the moat. Ruby's re-orchestrated and unfiltered versions of some of the greatest hits translates into a new way of reading—sure to drive you crazy in the best way."—Lewis Warsh
Author City: BROOKLYN, NY USA
Michael Ruby is the author of five full-length poetry books: AT AN INTERSECTION (Alef Books, 2002); three from BlazeVOX [books], WINDOW ON THE CITY (2006), THE EDGE OF THE UNDERWORLD (2010), and COMPULSIVE WORDS (2010); and AMERICAN SONGBOOK (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2013). His trilogy, MEMORIES, DREAMS, AND INNER VOICES (Station Hill Press, 2012), includes Fleeting Memories, a UDP web-book. He is also the author of two chapbooks, The Star-Spangled Banner (Dusie, 2011) and Close Your Eyes (Dusie, 2013), and the editor of Washtenaw County Jail and Other Writings by David Herfort (Xlibris, 2005). A graduate of Harvard College and Brown University's writing program, he lives in Brooklyn and works as an editor at The Wall Street Journal.