Pamela August Russell’s B is for Bad Poetry


The possession of Pamela August Russell’s collection of poems, B is for Bad Poetry, was the result of a last-minute addition to an amazon order. For the ridiculous price of $4 (plus a dreadful amount of shipping to Australia) I came to own this marvelous and surprising book of poetry.

B is for Bad Poetry is everything the title says it is not. From the first to the last page, each poem is one that inspires either a wistful sigh or warm chuckle. With sweetly sarcastic and borderline bitter moments, B is for Bad Poetry is one that doesn’t take life too seriously. Whether this is done by pointing out the light-heartedness of stressful moments such as a breakup (à la ‘Capitalism Can Fall Not Like I Fell For You’), or merely pondering the process of baked goods in Hell. (See ‘Betty Crocker’s Oven-Free Cookbook Tops the Bestseller List in Hell’)

Throughout the collection, however, is the motif of love gone awry. This feeling however is not one typical to the genre and is dealt with in often obscure and imaginative ways. The sheer brilliance and distinct style of Russell’s can be seen the clearest in the below example. If you have are not a fan of poetry or anything of that ilk, I would highly recommend you give Russell a chance to sway your opinion, you will not be disappointed.


There’s an elephant

in the room.

He’s wearing your

favourite T-shirt,

cooked us a delightful

lasagna for dinner

and left a note

on the fridge that says,

“You should break up.”

I wonder what he wants?

-Pamela August Russell (2009, p. 81)

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