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Tropic of Squalor: Poems
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Tropic of Squalor: Poems

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  39 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
A new volume of poetry from the New York Times bestselling and esteemed author of The Liar’s Club and Lit.

Long before she earned accolades for her genre-defining memoirs, Mary Karr was winning poetry prizes. Now the beloved author returns with a collection of bracing poems as visceral and deeply felt and hilarious as her memoirs. In Tropic of Squalor, Karr dares to address
ebook, 96 pages
Published May 8th 2018 by Harper
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Apr 05, 2018 rated it it was ok
I read and loved Mary Karr’s memoirs: “Lit” and “The Liar’s Club,” but I had not previously read any of her poetry. In her new collection “Tropic of Squalor,” I felt as though I was reading a different author - both in character and tone. There were some poems and lines within poems that were thought-provoking and really resonated with me. However, on the whole this collection was too dark and bleak for this reader. Maybe I would have liked the poems more if I were in a different frame of mind. ...more
Rebecca Foster
Mary Karr is mostly known as a memoirist, but this is actually her fifth poetry collection. Death is a major theme, with David Foster Wallace’s suicide (“Among genii, whoever dies first wins. / Or so he thought.”) and 9/11 getting multiple mentions. Karr also writes self-deprecatingly about her Texas childhood (“my kidhood (whose torments / Did fill many profitable volumes)”; “Whole years I lost in the kingdom / Of mine own skull”).

Best of all is the multi-part “The Less Holy Bible”: a sort of D
Diane S ☔
May 22, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 review soon.
Marne Wilson
I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway, and I am definitely not the right reader for it. Karr deals with some dark subject matter here, and her coping strategy is a thick layer of cynicism. For example, take these lines from "The Age of Criticism," where she describes the suicide of a fellow poet: "I believed there might be no one more alluring alive./ But she killed herself. Last April, widowed at sixty,/ she jumped off the high stadium of some snotty college/ where she taught, and whether she ...more
L K Simonds
May 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
What can I say? This is classic Mary Karr: No holds barred poems about life in the Tropic of Squalor, that is, under the curse. Ms. Karr's observations are poignant and almost always have a comic element, even if it's dark. The poems are full of familiar themes for those who've read her memoirs. I don't read a lot of poetry, and my taste runs toward poets like Frost and Yeats and Dickinson, but I keep trying, mostly unsuccessfully, to expand my horizons. My favorite poetry of Karr's are the lyri ...more
May 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“Tropic of Squalor” ranges in subject from the personal to the political. Many of the poems have an autobiographical voice, and an early poem, “Illiterate Progenitor,” speaks to life with a father “undiluted by the written word.” This poem inspired me to write about my own family.

And although Karr never mentions political figures by name, astute readers will understand the subtext. As with her memoir “The Liar’s Club,” Karr infuses some poems with a fair amount of “crazy.”

Karr has structured t
Sara Habein
May 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
So much good stuff in here. Sad, thoughtful, reverent, maybe sometimes a little too on the nose, but that's ok too.
May 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Must reads:
1. The Age of Criticism (DFW/Franzen influences?)
2. The Child Abuse Tour
3. Obadiah: A Perfect Mess
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Jun 03, 2018
William Clark
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May 16, 2018
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May 08, 2018
Scott Beddingfield
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May 25, 2018
Lovely Loveday
Tropic of Squalor is the fifth poetry collection written by Karr. The major theme throughout this collection of poems is death. The poems in this poem are realistic and relatable. Some can bring out different emotions for the reader. Tropic of Squalor is a book that is not for everyone but if you like plain spoken poetry that is sarcastic or sometimes rude than this is the book for you. I was not a fan of this collection.
Mark Asnen
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May 30, 2018
Samantha Silver
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May 25, 2018
Apr 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book 2 for #readathon #deweys24hourreadathon - I’d never read Mary Karr’s poetry before, didn’t even know she had previous collections 🙀 but I have read her memoir Lit. Very interesting, I liked the poem cycle that made up the last half of this collection
Jack Bartles
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Claire Willman
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May 26, 2018
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Jan 24, 2018
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Gordon Gammell
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Goodreads Librari...: Please add cover 2 13 Apr 23, 2018 05:16PM  
Mary Karr is an American poet, essayist and memoirist. She rose to fame in 1995 with the publication of her bestselling memoir The Liars' Club. She is the Peck Professor of English Literature at Syracuse University.

Karr was born January 16, 1955, in Groves, a small town in East Texas located in the Port Arthur region, known for its oil refineries and chemical plants, to J. P. and Charlie Marie (Mo
More about Mary Karr