“We’re Running the Risk of Equating Serious Literature with Unfunny Literature”: A Conversation with Ben Purkert About His Debut Novel

Ben Purkert


Ben Purkert makes the path from poet to novelist look easy with his debut The Men Can’t Be Saved, which is funny and sharp as hell. Purkert has managed to take a poet’s eye to the worlds of branding and labor, creating a hilarious book filled with beautiful sentences and profound ideas.

We caught up over the phone to discuss finding room for comedy in serious literature, the use of metaphor in the novel, and the original NC-17 B.C. shock poet himself, Catullus. 

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Books of the Month: August 2023

August 2023 Books

And now it’s August. If my highly unscientific surveying of release dates and similar information is any indication, this month brings with it a very surreal array of books — including a lot of anthologies, some nicely surreal fiction, and some fascinating spins on classical mythology. What follows is a look at 11 books due out in August that we’re excited about. Maybe you will be, too.

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“This Question Has Me Reeling into Existential Crisis”: Ben Purkert on Writing “For the Love of Endings”

  It can be difficult for non-poets to get excited about a poetry collection, but Ben Purkert’s For the Love of Endings is well worth your time. Purkert is a master at building tension between the playful and the dead serious. The poems in this collection display an incredible love of language and a generous curiosity about human nature. They are often funny as hell, too. I recently sat down with Purkert at Hungry Ghost on Fulton St. in Brooklyn […]

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