How to Be Better by Being Worse

(Author) (Foreword by)
Product Details
$17.00  $15.81
BOA Editions
Publish Date
6.0 X 8.9 X 0.4 inches | 0.35 pounds

Earn by promoting books

Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.

Become an affiliate
About the Author
Justin Jannise grew up in rural southeast Texas. As a first-generation college student, he attended Yale University, where he won the 2009 Albert Stanburrough Cook Prize for Poetry. He worked as a freelance pop culture writer in New York City before moving to Iowa to attend the Iowa Writers' Workshop. The University of Iowa awarded him a Teaching-Writing Fellowship in 2013 and named him the Provost's Visiting Writer in Poetry in 2014. Now finishing his Ph.D. in Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Houston, Justin served a two-year term as Editor-in-Chief of Gulf Coast. He frequently teaches community writing workshops at Inprint, Grackle & Grackle, and Writespace. As part of Writers in the Schools, he has led classrooms at Field Elementary School, the High School for Law and Justice, and M.D. Anderson Cancer Hospital. He is the recipient of both the Inprint Marion Barthelme Prize and the Inprint Verlaine Prize in Poetry. In 2019, his poems appeared in both Best New Poets and Best of the Net, and Copper Nickel nominated his poem "Leather Jacket" for a Pushcart Prize. His writing has also been published by Hobart, Electric Lit, Lana Turner, Yale Review, New Ohio Review, and Split Lip Magazine.

"There's an abundance of good poetry being written today. Poetry that exhibits good style, exercises good technique, and evokes good sentiments. But Jannise has done more than write just another good book of poetry--he's written a great book, and beyond that, quite a memorable one."
--Richard Blanco, from the Foreword

"This thoroughly delightful debut collection by Justin Jannise is full of wit and fire and play. He has an impressively off kilter sensibility that pierces the banality of American-style absurdities and pop culture's often vacuous signs and icons like a particularly scathing and funny X-ray (an illuminating device that he notably points at his speaker as well). Equally as impressive, his poems have real formal integrity and a structural intelligence that speaks of this poet's authentic engagement with the art. Jannise's How to Be Better by Being Worse reminds me again that poetry is supposed to be for its reader, first and foremost, a pleasure."
--Erin Belieu, author of Come Hither Honeycomb

"If you told me I'd go nuts over a book of instructions, lists, directions...I'd probably think you were mad. But these poems by Justin Jannise are searingly funny and endlessly delightful, like opening the door of an attic and finding a treasure trove of leather jackets, dime-store novels, Freddie Mercury records--with the legerdemain of a magician, wig after wig after wig. Honey, it's funny. And giddy. And sometimes sad. The way looking through one's snapshots often is. But How to Be Better By Being Worse is also the best thing I've read in ages. What a pleasure to read this instead of all the bad news. I know, that sounds indulgent. But sometimes we just gotta indulge or we'll die of seriousness. And who wants that on their tombstone?"
--D.A. Powell, author of Useless Landscape, or A Guide for Boys