• Image of The Catastrophe of my Personality

Corey Mesler has published in numerous journals and anthologies, including The Esquire/Narrative4 Project and Good Poems, American Places (Viking Press, 2011). He has published seven novels, Talk: A Novel in Dialogue (2002), We Are Billion-Year-Old Carbon (2006), The Ballad of the Two Tom Mores (2010), Following Richard Brautigan (2010), Gardner Remembers (2011), Frank Comma and the Time-Slip (2012), and Diddy-Wah-Diddy: A Beale Street Suite (2013); 3 full length poetry collections, Some Identity Problems (2008), Before the Great Troubling (2011), and Our Locust Years (2013), and 3 books of short stories, Listen: 29 Short Conversations (2009), Notes toward the Story and Other Stories (2011) and I’ll Give You Something to Cry About (2011). He has also published over a dozen chapbooks of both poetry and prose. He has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize numerous times, and two of his poems have been chosen for Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac. His fiction has received praise from John Grisham, Robert Olen Butler, Lee Smith, Frederick Barthelme, Greil Marcus, among others. With his wife, he runs Burke’s Book Store in Memphis TN, one of the country’s oldest (1875) and best independent bookstores. He can be found at http://www.coreymesler.wordpress.com.

“In one of his long series, Odysseus Elytis capitalizes this slogan: “One ‘Makes’ The Truth Exactly As One Makes The Lie.” The Catastrophe of my Personality is Mesler’s plainspoken love letter to the world. It values the fragility of everything we make—a love, a fear, a lie, a house, a poem. It knows that our longing to create is both ravenous treasure and terrifying cancer. Each poem is a momentary stay against loss and change, and Mesler knows there is more to life than poetry making. This book urges us to seize the ephemeral in our constructions and admit to the ephemeral beyond them.”
—Richard Lyons, author of Hours of the Cardinal

Mesler’s poems bear a family resemblance to the excellent poetry of Kay Ryan and Tim Suermondt but chances are you have not read poems exactly like his. Inimitable, sometimes surreal or synthetic (joining the possible with the impossible), never illogical but willing to take brave leaps, his poems are as individual as he is, original, engaging, goofy, and smart as blazes. Who else has noticed that a poem is a “shaky little pudding”?! And the nine-liner “Naming” is one of many triumphs here.
—Kelly Cherry, author of The Life and Death of Poetry: Poems

“Corey Mesler’s spare, well-crafted poems guide us through such a range of emotions, from despair to humor, from loss to gladness, in moments of love, of self-awareness, where the interior life and the exterior world meet. We follow him as we follow a dear friend, in these poems which are both highly personal and artistically poised.”

John Bensko, author of The Waterman’s Children, and the Yale Series of Younger Poetry Award winning Green Soldiers

“Corey Mesler is that rare writer who defies labels. Neither academic or of the underground street variety. His work is as varied as it is strong. I have been lucky enough to know about Corey for a coon’s age, but am ashamed to say I hadn’t read him nearly enough. What can I say about a guy who mentions Tuesday Weld in his poetry? Just that “The Catastrophe of my Personality” is stunning in its honesty and its simplicity. It’s one of the best books you’re likely to read in any calendar year. I wish I had written it, because it deserves an audience as big as the heart that created it.”
–John Dorsey, Author of Tombstone Factory, Epic Rites Press, 2013