“More than anything, DeColo’s fearless new poems grapple with the complicated here and now, full of, as she writes, ‘a tenderness that wrecks me.'"—Keetje Kuipers, Author of The Keys to the Jail
“The poems in Kendra DeColo’s extraordinary second collection, My Dinner With Ron Jeremy, live in the sinuous space between want and propriety, fantasy and the ‘Must Be 18’ button.”—Adrian Matejka, Author of The Big Smoke, a 2014 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.
“Marvelous poetry … poems that would make great feature films.” —Ron Jeremy, Actor
Third Man Books is ready to take sides, and we’re choosing Nashville poet Kendra DeColo. Her new book, My Dinner With Ron Jeremy, is unlike any other in its vulnerability and absolute fearlessness. Described by some as “erotica for feminists,” and “enemy to family values,” DeColo’s poems convulse with desire and a longing for connection. Her work speaks to the particular loneliness of watching Fox News after you’ve masturbated too many times, depleted and filled with fascination and terror. Balancing tenderness with ferocity, cynicism with wonder, DeColo’s poems disrupt and reclaim misogynistic language, creating a lyricism that dazzles and swoons, hoping to leave a stain deep enough to last. As DeColo says, “I wrote this book during my pregnancy, while watching the Republican nomination unfold. I wrote it for my 14-year-old self, smoking Parliaments and reading Anais Nin on the floor at a Violent Femmes show. I wrote it for the 27-year-old me who got sober. Most of all, I wrote it to combat the reductionist and nihilist vision of certain politicians that seeks to numb and disempower us through the corruption of language. I hope that my poems go out into the world swinging both fists, ready to take on this demagoguery and twist it into something profane and beautiful.” Third Man Books is ready to send those poems out to fight. We’ll be swinging both fists, kicking both feet, and using our teeth to put these very important, beautiful poems of self and the political out into the world.
Praise and articles about My Dinner With Ron Jeremy:
- A review at The Nashville Scene: “Sex-positive feminist verse… DeColo manages to coax beauty and meaning from the absurd aching morass of human existence. It’s not every writer who can emerge from these corners with anything approaching grace, much less deft and bracing poems such as these."—The Nashville Scene
An interview with Bitch Magazine: “[DeColo’s] work is ferocious and tender, demolishing patriarchal language and using the fragments to build riotous new worlds."—Bitch Magazine
An essay at VIDA:Women in Literary Arts: “…my book is neither pro- nor anti- pornography. Rather, it uses pornography as a starting point to talk about sexuality, agency, and identity; the poems about pornography set adjacent to poems about motherhood, coming of age, and politics.” —Kendra DeColo
A soundtrack for the book at Large Hearted Boy : “My Dinner with Ron Jeremy is engaged in perpetual conversation with music and the refuge of fandom. It’s a coming-of-age book as well as a book about motherhood; a bridge of recovery and reckoning connecting the themes. . . .The book is a mix-tape I made for my 14-year-old self, proof that she would grow up to be someone who doesn’t apologize for who she is, especially her love of pop music."—Kendra DeColo