Today's poem is "Alcatraz, and Back"
from Shuffle and Breakdown

Waywiser Press

Cody Walker was born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1967. He holds a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin, an M.F.A. from the University of Arkansas, and a Ph.D. from the University of Washington. He received the James Boatwright III Prize for Poetry from Shenandoah in 2003 and a Distinguished Teaching Award from the University of Washington in 2005. A longtime writer-in-residence in Seattle Arts & Lectures’ Writers in the Schools program, he was elected Seattle Poet Populist in 2007. His work has appeared in The Best American Poetry, Parnassus, Slate, Subtropics, Light, Sewanee Theological Review, and elsewhere. In 2009 he’ll begin a term as the Amy Clampitt Resident Fellow in Lenox, Massachusetts.

Other poems by Cody Walker in Verse Daily:

Books by Cody Walker:

Other poems on the web by Cody Walker:

Cody Walker's Website.

About Shuffle and Breakdown:

"You’ll need your wits about you when you read this astonishing book. Cody Walker keeps working surprises, setting traps, yanking rugs from underfoot – and I must say, I enjoyed myself no end. ‘Escalation, 2007,’ for instance, sounds as if written by a Mother Goose high on LSD. Walker is unique, no mere trickster but a serious craftsman who blurs the line of demarcation between sober poetry and light verse. Though he sometimes writes in forms usually frivolous – limericks, double dactyls, clerihews – he can do so with dark import. An amazing series of letters from a fictitious grandson of Walt Whitman is alone worth the price of admission."
—X. J. Kennedy

"In this case, the voice comes from some ways off, at an unexpected angle. Cody Walker’s poems are singular, and severally strong. Shuffle and Breakdown is more than an assemblage; it’s a collection with a subtending architecture, so that while one is savoring local pleasures – a brash simile, an odd and antic rhyme – one is aware of the book’s shapely whole. Like Roethke, who also had a Pacific Northwest background, Walker makes adroit use of fractured nursery rhyme. Like Whitman, with whom he shares a taste for the out-flung, Walker means to be comprehensive. But Shuffle and Breakdown is more than a toting up of its influences. Here’s a wry and rueful and utterly appealing new sensibility."
—Brad Leithauser

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