World Too Loud to Hear: Poems (Paperback)

World Too Loud to Hear: Poems By Stephen Kampa Cover Image

World Too Loud to Hear: Poems (Paperback)


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Stephen Kampa's World Too Loud to Hear confronts today's zeitgeist of dark social norms online or off. Our litany of individual and collective shortcomings is laid bare or castigated-as, for instance, with obligations we abhor, avoid, and "can't wait / to pass down to the upstart generations." The delivery ranges from straight or subtle to rants and execrations, while the settings range from historic and current affairs to the imaginary, dystopian, sci-fi, or surrealistic. This sui generis collection is fearless in hope, with a sobering take on our acceleratingly fearful national and global trajectory.


Stephen Kampa's World Too Loud to Hear is a book about America's "slow-motion, decades-long cascade / of violence . . ."-gun violence by and against children, violence of tech-driven accelerating change, and violence that permeates almost every aspect of our online lives. These amazing poems manage to be at once outraged and witty, inventive and passionate, nuanced and blunt. I can't think of another book that captures so completely the lunatic reality of self-destruction. Stephen Kampa is fabulous poet, and this is a fabulous and important book.

-Alan Shapiro, author of Proceed to Check Out and Against Translation

Stephen Kampa's World Too Loud to Hear takes on the noise of the twenty-first century with a furious love and attention. The poems in this book lay out our terrible addictions-to gun violence, to scientism, to screens, to empty celebrity, to social division, to anger itself. But they also show us what remains worth saving from those evils: children, magic, and mystery. These poems delight equally in novel syllabic stanzas, calm iambics, and drumming accentuals, and they ratchet up poetic form to the tension of a crossbow, with the same deadly aim. They use change-up rhyme patterns, sonics, wordplay, and narrative drama to keep us tumbling forward, through etymology and child abuse, homage and political hackery, near-despair and struggling faith. And they often arrive at the sort of poetic closure that makes a reader freeze and gasp.

-Maryann Corbett, author of In Code and Street View

Juggling Horatian and Juvenalian satire with surgical wit and polemical yet coy imbalances, Stephen Kampa's speakers are the needling social critics, cultural anthropologists, and litigator-jesters. I have not read a collection of poetry that better tackles social injustices and apathies, gun violence, religious hypocrisy, climate change, and our subservience to technology. Kampa shows us ourselves: combing the Almighty WebMD to wrangle with our psychosomatic homunculi, constructing our digital personae and elevating our experiences to impress other inflated personae, and being lured into divisiveness by cartoonish political buffoonery. In this World Too Loud to Hear, Kampa reminds us through his maw-opening critiques and funhouse mirrors that we have lost our benevolence and are becoming untethered from the one objective truth from which we humans can find insights: the natural world.

-Adam Vines, author of Lures and Out of Speech


Stephen Kampa is the author of four collections of poetry: Cracks in the Invisible, Bachelor Pad, Articulate as Rain, and World Too Loud to Hear. He is a winner of the Hollis Summers Poetry Prize, the Theodore Roethke Prize, the Collins Prize, and the Florida Book Awards Gold Medal in Poetry. He has been a resident at Art342 and at the Amy Clampitt House. His work has appeared in The Best American Poetry. He has also worked as a musician and appears on multiple albums from WildRoots Records.

Product Details ISBN: 9781773491561
ISBN-10: 1773491563
Publisher: Able Muse Press
Publication Date: November 24th, 2023
Pages: 134
Language: English