John Roche's books
Mo' Joe - The Anthology - Edited by John Roche Published by Beatlick Press
Finalist for the 2015 NM/AZ Book Awards in Anthology
The Joe Poems: The Continuing Saga of Joe the Poet
In a unique and quirky form of his own, ten-line poems with a 100-word limit, Joe the Poet spins his tall tales, his hair floating and his eyes flashing as he rambles, tongue in cheek, from town to town to the delight of those he's touched and are waiting to be touched again. Joe morphs into a variety of idiosyncratic wanderers and Josephina, Don Quixote-like dudes and who knows- he could be any poet messiah--after a few poems the reader won't know what to expect as Roche takes the reader on an odyssey from Montana to Paris to Penny Lane. The poems are witty, terse, darkly and oddly funny, often with a mild twist at the end as in Joe disputing academic rigor. References seem right for the kaleidoscope of changing settings-like Shakespeare and Co., the Piggly Wiggly stores, etc. The poems are fun to read and must have been fun to write.
-Lyn Lifshin, Vienna, Virginia
Roche's The Joe Poems: the Continuing Saga of Joe the Poet refracts his vibrant, unique and far-flung life experience through the prism of a mind on lyric. The result is a fantastic realism that sticks with you. The new forms he uses here sport a command of the poetic matching his mastery of historical past, creating a staying power for the soul of 'Joe the Poet' to be forever balanced on the cusp of the borderlands-but the best thing is simply that it's all a wide angle on the great pageant and turns out Joe's a pretty good guide.
-G.E. Schwartz, Henrietta, NY
"A rewarding read. There's a lot of erudition beneath the surface of these unassuming little gems."
-Charlie Rossiter, Oak Park, IL
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