By Chelsey Minnis
Publication Date: September 4, 2018
ISBN# 9781940696720 (6 x 8, 272pp, trade paper)
ISBN# 9781940696713 (6 x 8, 272pp, limited edition hardcover)
Chelsey Minnis’s new collection of poems follows the struggle of a flawed character in a cinematic world. Playing with old ideas of wealth and love from Hollywood’s golden era, these poems flirt with nostalgia without ever succumbing to it, casting a new light on the present through the fantasies of the past.
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Minnis hasn't forgotten that we have art in order not to die of reality. . . . It can be satisfying to see the anarchic, libidinal impulse behind poem-writing allowed its full measure of vice. There will be no hand-wringing about climate change, femicide, poverty, or racism here. It is unapologetically all about priviledge (the priviledge of writing); and asserting that this is the only worthwhile privilege in the world; and faking it till you make it—the poem, that is.
Ange Mlinko, The New York Review of Books
Chelsey Minnis’ “Poemland” is one of my favorite books of the century, but it came out in 2009, and I worried we’d not see another. Turns out she was saving up. “Baby, I Don’t Care” (Wave, $18) is a wisecracking, 200-plus-page rollick (with as much white space as text). . . . Minnis flips the troubadour script to silver-screen banter, and it’s a hoot to listen in
Michael Robbins, Chicago Tribune
That Minnis can reach such prophetic depths of gloom and doom while simultaneously sustaining the integrity of a laugh-out-loud funny persona is a testament to her prowess. This book is an indispensable addition to Minnis’s oeuvre, though she’d likely not want to hear it.
Logan Berry, They Brooklyn Rail
Minnis impishly taunts the senses in this scintillating vaudeville of vice, greed, and sexism. Through the sassy, vamp-y, diamond-adorned persona of a self-proclaimed "hungry tigress," readers are subjected to a sardonic, melodramatic monologue that was "inspired by classic movies" and often feels like a lucid dream. . . . With an unparalleled sense of absurdist whimsy, Minnis runs through a litany of debaucherous and obsessive behaviors while engendering empathy, curiosity, and self-reckoning.
Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Minnis’s first book in nine years bears the hallmarks of a work that took time. Baby, I Don’t Care is a wonder of problem-solving, building on previous books and not merely repeating them. Though the humor is as sharp as ever, the persona and golden lines Minnis spent years honing have more of an animating form to support them this time, and it lends the collection a wholeness and emotional arc a cut above many poetry collections. Finally, here’s love.
James Butler-Gruett, Entropy Mag
The work from Baby, I Don’t Care is slightly less dark... and somewhat funnier... Here Minnis re-establishes herself as perhaps our best, most biting, black-comic poet. Her poems sting.
Kevin O'Rourke, Colorado Review
Baby, I Don’t Care is a work of monstrous appetites—it’s insatiable, sensational, in need of the gaze while always playing indifferent to it. Like a cat toying with a bloodied mouse grows bored and leaves it to bleed out, Minnis’s speaker is merciless in her needs and yawns in the face of their destructions.
The Arkansas International
An endless dance of attraction and alienation between text and reader. . . . No one else is writing poetry quite like this: funny, willfully superficial in tone, but with teasing hints that something serious is at stake.
Barry Schwabsky, Hyperallergic
The book is pervaded with old-world ‘movie’ charm – the cod-aristocratic languor, the English archaisms... the drawl-speed of the delivery... It’s a whole world, distant yet known, whose gaudy-eerie strangeness flickers romantically beside the factual glare of our own century.
Sam Riviere, Poetry Society UK
Cut into 39 sections with titles such as “Laziness”, “Gold Digger”, “Murder”, “Iceberg”, and “Greatness”, Minnis exploits herself, her lovers, money, sex and much more... Using her lyrical tone, Minnis oozes sarcasm and sparkles as she explores the oddities of the world around her.
Julia Cirignano, Julia's Book Reviews
Minnis is remarkably good at establishing character quickly, but also invoking a whole world in a few words...A certain kind of reader will come away from the book feeling a little like Cary Grant and a little like he's just escaped a seduction he halfway wishes had trapped him.
Robert Archambeau, The Hudson Review
Chelsey Minnis grew up in Denver. She attended the University of Colorado at Boulder and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She is the author of Baby, I don't care (Wave Books, 2018), Poemland (Wave Books, 2009), Zirconia (Fence Books, 2001), Foxina (Seeing Eye Books, 2002) and Bad Bad (Fence Books, 2007). She lives in Boulder, Colorado. She also writes screenplays.
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