Pop Culture and Poetry

I'm not that familiar with David Trinidad's work but his new book, The Late Show, apparently saturated with references to old-time Hollywood, seems like something that would be right up my alley. From the pieces they've quoted, though, the poems in this collection appear to focus on Hollywood icons and pop culture from days of yore. It seems a tad antiquated, although I don't want to judge without reading the book in the first place. It does look like a good read.

The freshness of someone like Frank O'Hara was his choice to use figures like Lana Turner ("Lana Turner has collapsed!") and Billie Holiday ("The Day Lady Died") in his poems. Of course, nowadays these references bring us back to Technicolor days but at the time of their writing, Turner and Holiday were contemporary figures.

From Time Out Chicago:

If anyone needs a study guide to accompany his or her copy of David Trinidad’s new collection of poems, Late Show, we suggest eschewing college bookstores and canonical reference volumes. Instead, you’ll likely be better off hitting IMDb.com on your Web browser.

In Columbia College prof Trinidad’s pop culture–saturated poetry, the languid Technicolor of mid-20th-century Hollywood appears again and again, both as metaphor and as subject. In “Nature Poem,” a series of old movie titles are arranged in couplets (“The Petrified Forest / The River of No Return”), and in “Watching the Late Movie with My Mother,” Trinidad recalls spending time alone with his mom, watching the old starlets on the small screen.

Read the complete review of David Trinidad's The Late Show here.

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