The Magazine

The Wiki-Poet

A brave new bard for the Internet age.

May 7, 2012, Vol. 17, No. 32 • By ELI LEHRER
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Robbins certainly isn’t a traditionalist of any kind and probably goes a bit overboard in playing the role of the academic hipster. (The book’s photo shows him wearing a T-shirt of the atheist/satanic death metal band Slayer.) And if only because of his subject matter—a significant percentage of his work alludes to the male sex organ—he’s unlikely to become the type of poet high school English teachers like to assign (although, since S–t List author Archie Ammons is now in most high school anthologies, even that could happen). But because it’s very funny, interesting, and intellectually rewarding, Michael Robbins’s new collection is a rare work of recent poetry that could well earn a popular readership—at least by the standards of poets producing new work today.

Eli Lehrer is vice president of the Heartland Institute.