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Cover for No Day at the Beach (Wisconsin Poetry Series)

No Day at the Beach (Wisconsin Poetry Series)

John Brehm


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With his trademark self-deprecating wit, unflinching honesty, and sparkling language, John Brehm’s latest collection invites readers along on his spiritual journey. No Day at the Beach traces a progression from loneliness and the magnetic pull of the past to the grace that is found through immersion in the present and the melancholy beauty of impermanence. Informed by Brehm’s Buddhist practice and enlivened by his comic insights, these poems take on a universal dimension, allowing the reader to both luxuriate in the moment and reflect on each poem’s spiritual depth.

By turns playfully philosophical and bracingly open hearted, Brehm’s engagement with the specters of memory, pride, yearning, gain, and loss illuminate the human condition with humor and empathy.

Praise For No Day at the Beach (Wisconsin Poetry Series)

“Evident throughout these irresistible, often self-deprecating poems (‘It’s no day at the beach / being me’) are Brehm’s persuasive wonderings, his engaging explorations, his vital need to know. Open the book anywhere and you won’t want to put it down.”—Andrea Hollander, author of Blue Mistaken for Sky

No Day at the Beach navigates a world that is by turns tragic, ironic, absurd, stunning, and unpredictably hilarious. In these wise, uncommonly empathic poems, Brehm proves himself to be a true wit for our time.”—Fred Muratori, author of A Civilization

“These keen-eyed, often witty poems take a hard look at who we are and what we can do about it. Many of them are directed toward those troublesome shell casings, our bodies. Yet, as the poem ‘Fedora’ says, a beautiful woman may smile at you and your jaunty hat anyway—she needn’t know what a wreck you are. These poems are good for what ails us all.”—David Kirby, author of More Than This

University of Wisconsin Press, 9780299326548, 96pp.

Publication Date: March 10, 2020

About the Author

John Brehm is the author of Sea of Faith and Help Is on the Way and the editor of The Poetry of Impermanence, Mindfulness, and Joy. He teaches at the Mountain Writers Series and Literary Arts in Portland, Oregon, and Lighthouse Writers Workshop in Denver, Colorado.