Ars Poetica

A Postmodern Parable

978-1-881515-48-7 Paperback
5.5 x 8.5 x 0 in
294 pp. 1 B&W photo
Pub Date: 06/02/2003


  • Paperback $16.95
Winner of the 2002 Texas Review Fiction Prize
In the caveat to this irreverent and hilarious satire, Clay Reynolds writes, “No poet writing today could be this lucky, this tragic, this infamous. Indeed, it wouldn’t be tolerated.” No, one will have to admit, it wouldn’t. Offered in the same vein as Jane Smiley’s Moo and Richard Russo’s Straight Man, Reynolds’s Ars Poetica explores the life of a modern-day Don Juan, a hedonistically ambitious poetaster of our own times, a self-styled Lothario, but, as the tragicomedy ultimately reveals, a man who ultimately discovers that he has more in common with Coleridge’s mariner than with any swashbuckling versifier of old.

At times a light-hearted romp through the wasteland world of contemporary creative writing where only the phony seem to survive and prosper, at times a vicious attack on the hypocrisy of political correctness and contemporary sexual mores, and at times a sordid slog through the back alleys of a single soul’s despair, Ars Poetica evolves as a parable of a passionate poet in a postmodern world, one fraught with the perils of pretense and one that offers meaningful achievement only at the price of the poetic soul.

Published by Texas Review Press