HOW MUCH? offers a panoramic view of a poet whose work has often been a cult-pleasure until now. Spanning Sala’s early years as a punk performance poet in Chicago to his career as a copywriter/Creative Director in New York City, these poems offer satiric insights from the “belly of the beast” of commercial and pop culture.
“HOW MUCH? New and Selected Poems is rebel poetry straight from the cold heart of corporate America where Jerome Sala worked for decades. The poems in this book are witty and irreverent, yes, but a better description might be giddy with despair. As this collection shows, Sala has always had a bead on our shifty cultural moment. One poem in the new section contains the lines, ‘It was sexy/the phone said/the way you ordered that prescription./You're good at that./You should try it again.’ Ouch. Sala is a poet who should be better known. This book just may do the trick.” —Rae Armantrout
“Wry, spare, fashioned with the honed blade of an artist who has been publishing for forty plus years, Jerome Sala crafts fully developed, singular cultural critiques in poetic form in his most recent How Much? Adding to these penetrating political gems, the collection provides a celebratory occasion to discover or rediscover the distinct, thoroughly entertaining brand of iconoclasm in Sala's previous seven books, which scrutinize the structures of consumerism through popular media. Always, with Orwellian rigor, Sala delves into the power and commodification of the word—the transactional buying and selling of it—as it passes between ‘financial stewards,’ the State, copywriters, gods, poets, and readers alike.” —Martine Bellen
“This long-awaited overview of Jerome Sala's poetry will be an eye-opener to many, jaws will drop at the standard of excellence displayed here. From his earliest poems to the current moment, Sala's concerns and modus operandi have been remarkably consistent, though always experimental in form and discourse. From 'what kind of police state are you running, anyway?' in his breakthrough 80s work, to today's 'The people on television move so slowly' and 'milk-mustachioed models,' Sala interrogates, examines, analyzes, splays, and ultimately flays, the hypocrisy and self-interest that he sees as the animating forces of our times. He deals with household gods, such as Godzilla. And make sure you don't miss the Corporate Sonnets: 'I'm wearing a lot of hats lately/and it really makes me step outside/of my comfort zone.' Tell me about it. You need this book.” —Vincent Katz
Jerome Sala's books of poetry include cult classics such as I Am Not a Juvenile Delinquent (1985), The Trip, RAW DEAL (1994), Look Slimmer Instantly (2005), Prom Night (a collaboration with artist Tamara Gonzales, 2011), and THE CHEAPSKATES. He's also the author of CORPORATIONS ARE PEOPLE, TOO! (NYQ Books, 2017). His poetry and criticism have appeared in The Best American Poetry, The Nation, Evergreen Review, Pleiades, Conjunctions, Rolling Stone, The Brooklyn Rail, Journal of Poetics Research, and many others. Before moving to New York in the 80s, Sala and his spouse, poet Elaine Equi, did numerous readings together, helping to create Chicago's lively performance poetry scene. He has worked for many corporations of all kinds as a professional copywriter and has a PhD in American Studies from New York University. He maintains the blog Espresso Bongo, on "poetry, pop culture, and everyday life," and lives and works in New York City.Author City: NEW YORK, NY USA