Taliban Beach Party


Product Details

$16.00  $14.72
Turtle Point Press
Publish Date
5.9 X 8.9 X 0.4 inches | 0.35 pounds

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About the Author

California-born poet Eric Howard has spent most of his life in Los Angeles. After receiving a degree in English at Pomona College, Eric worked as a substitute teacher while living in an illegally converted basement apartment in the neighborhood of Silver Lake. There, he wrote Sinner.

He later used his retirement money to buy a house and be the live-in landlord of a bunch of misfits. This included taking part in pranks and art projects put on by the Los Angeles Cacophony Society.

He also obtained a master's degree in English from California State University Los Angeles, studying formal poetry with Henri Coulette. This allowed him to bring his punk sensibility to verse. He is a frequent reader around Southern California, including at the Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center. For almost two decades, he has worked as a magazine editor, which has informed his poetry about office life.

His book, Taliban Beach Party, addresses 9/11 and its aftermath in the context of Los Angeles history, beginning with satire but concluding with prophecy. The title poem describes a Cacophony event that took place at Dockweiler Beach in October 2001.


"In this wry portrait of contemporary southern California, we read of ordinary life smashed up against the window of lives outrageously lived and risked. Taliban Beach Party guides us through a gallery of characters such as Moira, the sex club's ticket-taker; the surfer god Cupid; and Bacchus of the office. Howard's various formal strategies liberate these figures from the margins and obscurities and give them feet with which to walk, voices with which to sing, and bodies with which to bang about and love."β€”Ed Skoog

"[L]ike William Carlos Williams, reincarnated as Johnny Depp, doing a gig as a tour guide for Dante." β€”Barbara Roether, Cultural Weekly

"Taliban Beach Party kicks Moon Doggie's ass and shoots the metropolitan tube alternative. Your TV is on fire, planes fly into the fiber optics, and madmen are delivered into the poet's hand, where justice unfolds across the page and Cassandra has your rainbow in her hair. This book is a shindig where the wise office geek gets his Gidget and inherits the Selectric Olympus of a forty-hour workweek, singing this is how it ends, this is how it begins."β€”S. A. Griffin

"Eric Howard is a mixmaster of language, spinning mashups of history, songs, biblical references, and allusions filtered through an outsider's view of the world. Howard gives voice to those whose dreams have not yet come true, including Daddy Moses, Office Venus, the drummer from Waxie Snatch, as well as the men who drop the bombs. Although many of Howard's poems make us laugh, they continue to detonate long after we have read them."β€”Terry Wolverton