David Lehman was born in New York City in 1948. He graduated from Columbia University and attended Cambridge University in England as a Kellett Fellow. He received a PhD in English from Columbia University.
Don't miss news & events from Soft Skull. Subscribe to the newsletter today.
The sestina is a traditional poetic form that has enjoyed a recent surge in popularity, which promises to expand further with this witty illustrated cycle of poems. Casting themselves as poetic superheroes, authors Jim and Dave take on Osama Bin Laden and various other rogues and luminaries, defeating the Masked Man” in the end to the cheering of appreciative crowds at the "sestina bar." As the two sestina-meisters take turns writing individual poems (and collaborating on one together), the mild-mannered bespectacled lad and the dashing superhero that coexist inside both Cummins and Lehman rescue the form from the clutches of everyday life and transform it into something fantastic. In this ambitious work, even the table of contents is written in sestina form. Adding to the fun are 39 vivid illustrations by Archie Rand and cameo appearances by Marvin Bell, Anne Sexton, Walt Whitman, Ted Berrigan, Gary Snyder, Arthur Rimbaud, Grace Paley, and others.