Illustrations by Arnold RothPhilip Appleman—award-winning poet, novelist, and scholar—turns his hand to humorous and sometimes irreverent verse in this, his eighth book of poetry. He is ably assisted in his effort to inform and entertain by the comic wit of Arnold Roth’s illustrations.
Appleman’s poetry is exquisitely formed, and is a delightful and accomplished romp through such lofty themes as sex, religion, and aging. Like all works of satire, Karma, Dharma, Pudding & Pie aims to expose folly and encourage enlightenment through humor, gleefully skewering established thinking.
The first half of the book surveys human foibles, failings, and perversities in general, while the latter half takes aim at the more ominous follies of religious fundamentalists. “Bible 101” tracks extensive passages of the Old and New Testaments to reveal the comic failings and potential dangers of a literal reading of those books. And the poems in “Darwin 101” show the ludicrous (and potentially tragic) misunderstandings of those who cling to fundamentalist “creationism” or “intelligent design” while rejecting the well-established facts of biological evolution.
X. J. Kennedy writes in the Foreword: “Appleman is a master of the sonnet, the terse rhymed epigram, and even that fiendishly ingenious form, the double dactyl. To watch him sling words is to be richly regaled. Neither does it hurt that this book has terrific drawings by the immortal Arnold Roth.”
PHILIP APPLEMAN Philip Appleman has published seven previous volumes of poetry, including New and Selected Poems, 1956-1996. He is the author of Apes and Angels and two other novels, and five nonfiction books, including the widely used Norton Critical Edition of Darwin. His poetry has won many awards, a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts among them. He is Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Indiana University, a founding member of the Poets Advisory Committee of Poets House, New York, a former member of the governing board of the Poetry Society of America, and a member of the Academy of American Poets, PEN American Center, and Poets & Writers, Inc. Married to the playwright Marjorie Appleman, he lives in New York City.
ARNOLD ROTH Arnold Roth’s cartoons and illustrations have appeared in The New Yorker, Playboy, Punch, Esquire, and many other publications. He is a member of the Society of Illustrators and past president of the National Cartoonists Society. His drawings and prints are in private collections and the collections of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Ohio State University Cartoon Research Library and Museum, The Cartoon Museum London, England, and The Karakatur and Cartoon Museum Basel, Switzerland. He has lectured widely, at The National Art Gallery, Princeton University, Yale University, Pratt Institute, the Parsons School, and other venues. Books he has written and illustrated include Pick a Peck of Puzzles, A Comick Book of Sports, and No Pain, No Strain. He lives in New York City.April 2009 $24.95 Clothbound (Can. $27.50)