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This book consists primarily of poems about a character based on the fool archetype, which appears not only in silents and standups (e.g. Keaton, Pryor, Woody Allen) but also in tales running back to the beginning of storytelling. To borrow from Yiddish comedy, he is a combination of schlemiel and schlimazel. The difference is that the schlemiel is a bungler who's always accidentally breaking things and spilling stuff on people and the schlimazel is a sad sack who's always getting his things broken and getting stuff spilled on him. My Fool is both. He is often treated harshly, which seems to come simply from his being a fool. Most fool figures, though “comic,” are subjected to a great deal of violence. The very term "slapstick" derives from this.
A native Midwesterner, William Trowbridge was born in Chicago and grew up in Omaha. He holds a B.A. in Philosophy and an M. A. in English from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a Ph.D. in English from Vanderbilt University. His poetry publications include five full collections: Ship of Fool (Red Hen Press, 2011), The Complete Book of Kong (Southeast Missouri State University Press, 2003), Flickers, O Paradise, and Enter Dark Stranger (University of Arkansas Press, 2000, 1995, 1989), and three chapbooks, The Packing House Cantata (Camber Press, 2006), TheFour Seasons (Red Dragonfly Press, 2001) and The Book of Kong (Iowa State University Press, l986). His poems have appeared more than 30 anthologies and textbooks, as well as in such periodicals as Poetry, The Gettysburg Review, Crazyhorse, The Georgia Review, Boulevard, The Southern Review, Columbia, Colorado Review, The Iowa Review, Prairie Schooner, Epoch, and New Letters. He has given readings and workshops at schools, colleges, bookstores, and literary conferences throughout the United States. His awards include an Academy of American Poets Prize, a Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference scholarship, a Camber Press Poetry Chapbook Award, and fellowships from The MacDowell Colony, Ragdale, Yaddo, and The Anderson Center. He is Distinguished University Professor Emeritus at Northwest Missouri State University, where he was an editor of The Laurel Review/GreenTower Press from 1986 to 2004. Now living in Lee’s Summit, MO, he teaches in the University of Nebraska low-residency MFA in writing program. His hobbies include motorcycling on his Triumph Sprint 995 S/T, travel, and trying to keep the damn rabbits away from the hibiscus.
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