My Cruel Invention: A Contemporary Poetry Anthology

“This is a wonderful array of imaginers telling their wild secrets and what they believe possible.” – Grace Cavalieri, Washington Independent Review of Books, December Exemplars


An outstanding collection of poetry about inventions and inventors, real and imagined, assembled by editor and poet, Bernadette Geyer, author of The Scabbard of Her Throat and a chapbook, What Remains.

“I was awed by the seemingly endless number of ways that poets approached the subject. Naturally, there are poems about real inventions—from clocks to pantyhose to chemotherapy drugs—as well as poems that conjure fantastical inventions—such as a contraption for kissing and a happy marriage machine.

While some of the poems in this anthology provide searing commentary on the dreadfulness of some of the creations birthed by inventors, other poems offer us a view into the stories behind inventions, as well as the lives of real and imagined inventors.

Whether invoking humor, irony, historic research, or imagination, the poems in this anthology converse not only with each other, but also with their readers and the world at large, in service to the continued human drive to create solutions—even to problems we didn’t know we had.”

– Bernadette Geyer

mycruelinventionPoems by: Alex Dreppec, Brett Foster, Clare Louise Harmon, Daniel Hales, David Mook, Donald Illich, Dorene O’Brien, F. J. Bergmann, FJP Langheim, Gwen Hart, H.M. Jones, Holly Karapetkova, J.G. McClure, Janet McNally, Jean Bonin, Jerry Bradley, Jesseca Cornelson, Jessica Goodfellow, Jo Angela Edwins, Joel Allegretti, Julie E. Bloemeke, Karen Bovenmyer, Karen Skolfield, Kathryn Rickel, Keith Stevenson, Kelly Cherry, Kim Roberts, Kirsten Imani Kasai, Kristine Ong Muslim, Laura Shovan, Magus Magnus, Malka Older, Marcela Sulak, Marjorie Maddox, Mia Leonin, Nolan Liebert, Norbert Gora, Rie Sheridan Rose, Rikki Santer, Robert Kenny, Sarah Key, Scott Beal, Shelley Puhak, Steven Wingate, Susan Bucci Mockler, Tanis MacDonald, Tanya Bryan, Tricia Asklar, W. Luther Jett, William Minor, and William Winfield Wright

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