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Joe Wenderoth

If I Don't Breathe How Do I Sleep

If I Don't Breathe How Do I Sleep

By Joe Wenderoth

  • ***Also available as an audiobook***

    Whether it's addressing the grotesque in daily scenes or upsetting the norms of professional culture, Joe Wenderoth's fifth collection, If I Don't Breathe How Do I Sleep, resonates with his signature intellect and disturbing humor. He is at once an aesthete and an iconoclast who brings inventive force to American poetry.

  • Alternating between dark comedy, fractured surrealism, and caustic satire, Wenderoth’s fourth poetry collection (after No Real Light) succeeds in being both a self-conscious indictment and a perverse celebration of the capability of language itself.
    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

    ... Wenderoth provocatively scrambles this traditional Muse-Poet complex and replaces the “daemonic” tutelary-Muse of the classical world with a more straightforwardly “demonic” rendering of the Poet/Poem as Devil, clown, doll, or living puppet.
    Michael Joseph Walsh, Denver Quarterly

    If I Don’t Breathe How Do I Sleep is Wenderoth’s fifth collection of poems, and I’m looking forward to having my brainbox knocked around by his caustic wit and confrontational humor.
    Jim Ruland, The Outlet

    In a body of work that builds off Sherwood Anderson’s grotesque and moves with and through Whitman’s ecstatic joy of the American poetic tongue, Wenderoth holds space with ritualistic power in brief encounters with everything from voice recordings to hummingbirds, from the living to the dead.
    Marc T. Wise, Quarterly West

    In Wenderoth’s newest collection of poems, If I Don’t Breathe How Do I Sleep, there is this strong sense – morbid, even – of illocality. Like a doorframe between waking and sleeping, between living and dying, between sincerity and absurdity, these illocal moments fill his fourth book of poems...
    Eric Dean Wilson, The Rumpus

    Wenderoth’s speakers are not sideshow freaks for the reader to ridicule. No, they are honest and human.
    Ezekiel Black, Heavy Feather Review

  • Wesleyan University Press published Joe Wenderoth’s first two books of poetry, Disfortune and It Is If I Speak. Wave Books published his third book of poems, No Real Light (2007), and fourth, If I Don't Breathe How Do I Sleep (2014). Wave Books also published his novel, Letters To Wendy’s (2000), and The Holy Spirit Of Life: Essays Written For John Ashcroft’s Secret Self (2005).

    Joe Wenderoth's films and artwork can be found on YouTube. His audio recordings (poems, public readings, and his podcast, About Brett Favre) can be found at Internet Archive. He is currently Professor of English at UC Davis, where he teaches in the creative writing graduate program. He is also the Blind Chaperone of the Seizure State. He has been to the Corn Palace, and has generally been thought of in a very positive way by people in the industry.

    He is at work now on Agony: a proposal.

Publication Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN# 9781933517872 (6x8.75 96pp, paperback)
ISBN# 9781933517889 (6x8.75 96pp, limited edition hardcover)
ISBN# 9781950268368 (audiobook)

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