Werewolf Wednesday…Naked Werewolf series by Molly Harper, The Werewolf of NYC by Edwin Vazquez, and Patrick Ryan Frank’s werewolf poetry

Oh, how I’ve missed Werewolf Wednesdays.

How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf by Molly Harper.

Blurb: Northern Exposure

Even in Grundy, Alaska, it’s unusual to find a naked guy with a bear trap clamped to his ankle on your porch. But when said guy turns into a wolf, recent southern transplant Mo Wenstein has no difficulty identifying the problem. Her surly neighbor Cooper Graham—who has been openly critical of Mo’s ability to adapt to life in Alaska—has trouble of his own. Werewolf trouble.

For Cooper, an Alpha in self-imposed exile from his dysfunctional pack, it’s love at first sniff when it comes to Mo. But Cooper has an even more pressing concern on his mind. Several people around Grundy have been the victims of wolf attacks, and since Cooper has no memory of what he gets up to while in werewolf form, he’s worried that he might be the violent canine in question.

If a wolf cries wolf, it makes sense to listen, yet Mo is convinced that Cooper is not the culprit. Except if he’s not responsible, then who is? And when a werewolf falls head over haunches in love with you, what are you supposed to do anyway? The rules of dating just got a whole lot more complicated. . . .

While the blurb is interesting enough, I guess, I’m not sure it would have fully caught my attention. However, the review over at Ivy Book Bindings makes it sound hilarious, charming, and exactly the sort of fun book I want to read RIGHT NOW.

And then, when checking out the author’s website, I see there is a second book, The Art of Seducing a Naked Werewolf, and according to its blurb on the author’s website, the alpha wolf is Maggie Graham. Female alpha? SOLD. I will report back as soon as I can get my hands on these and read them.

The Werewolf of NYC by Edwin Vazquez

First, Teresa Jusino wrote an excellent preview piece over at GirlGamer.com, and now a giveaway of some related goodies. Of the first issue, Teresa says: First, the comic. This shit is bananas, but in the best way. Set in the early 1980′s, The Werewolf of NYC tells the story of Albert Shaw, a severely lonely man who has to deal with the fact that if he doesn’t have complete control over himself, he turns into a werewolf and goes on killing sprees. Not being able to lose control makes having relationships, sexual or otherwise, very difficult. In fact, the first issue shows us what happens when a man has to repress his sexual desires for the benefit of living beings around him. You probably guessed it – it doesn’t turn out too well. Vazquez does a great job of capturing the seedy feel of early 1980′s Hell’s Kitchen, and his art looks like what seeing the world as a bloodthirsty werewolf must feel like. That’s the best thing about Vazquez’s art – it’s visceral.

That sounds badass, and even though I rarely buy comics by the issue right now, I am going to pick this one up.

Over at Austinist.com: Werewolves, Losing, and Being Understood: An Interview with Poet Patrick Ryan Frank.

Excerpt:

Also in the book you deal with not just people who are sympathetic, but also those who are a little less sympathetic, like the werewolf, for example. Do you feel that even the unsympathetic loser is in some way redeemable? Is there an innocent inside of every guilty person?

That’s interesting. I hadn’t really thought about it like that, but I guess I do. I do think that everyone has something sympathetic. Even the most seemingly unsympathetic person can be entered into, and the idea of sympathy as a form of empathy, as understanding, and I think it’s actually important for us to have empathy toward the most awful people because by understanding them we can understand the differences between them and everyone else. So, if I were to write a poem about a serial killer, it wouldn’t necessarily be to give sympathy toward the serial killer but to understand the route that a human being takes to get to that point. I guess that’s what I’m really interested in. Understanding on a both intellectual and emotional level and that’s what comes across as sympathy.

And the werewolf poem? It’s inspired by married men who have sex with other men, and I think that, yes, it’s a despicable thing to be cheating on your spouse, but it’s also a craving that these men might not have much control over. Or they have control over their actions, but not the force behind it. There’s this Stanley Kunitz poem with two lines that have always stuck with me: “What makes the engine go? Desire, desire, desire.” And I think that desire is the great equalizing force between all people. It’s what makes the winners succeed and what makes the losers keep going even after they’ve lost.

That’s profoundly fascinating—I definitely didn’t see that inspiration for the werewolf poem. Do you expect people to get that from the poem just at face value, or is that the type of thing where they need to seek out the author’s opinion to be able to come up with that interpretation?

I think I secretly have a bit of a New Formalist in me in that I don’t want any poem to require a secondary source. I don’t want anyone to feel like they need to know what I think about or care about to like my poems. In fact I try very hard to pull myself out of poems whenever possible. My goal is always to write a poem—that even if it has a deeper valence or a sort of hidden agenda—I want the poem to work even if that’s never discovered. Personally I would think that the werewolf poem is more interesting if you think about it in the context of sexuality but I also hope that it’s an interesting poem even if you don’t. I don’t know if it succeeds or not because no poet is ever really sure of what his poems do. But I like to think that the poem opens itself up to whatever reading a person wants to bring to it. But that sounds so…

Post modern?

Yeah. I generally hate it when people say that because it sounds like you’re abnegating authority. It’s like “Oh, you can get whatever you want out of my poem, I don’t care,” when obviously I do. Like, ideally everyone would read that poem and think “oh, men who have sex with other men, interesting.” But if no one gets that they’re still like, “Oh werewolves, I’ve never read a werewolf poem before, neat” and also be pretty happy.

But I don’t want to be one of those poets that people feel like they need to decipher. That’s so tedious. I love Wallace Stevens but half the time I’m reading Wallace Stevens thinking “I am missing something here.” And then a hundred percent of the time I’m reading Pound I know I’m missing something. But I don’t always find those poets to be that enjoyable.

Accessibility is a really important thing for me. I want to write poems that anybody could like to read. My fantasy audience is always my mother, who, if she’s ever read any of my poems, has never really talked about them, but I like to think that she reads all of them and is thinking, “Oh, I see what he’s doing here, yeah, juxtaposition.” And even if she’s not thinking about what’s happening, she’s still thinking, “Oh, that’s sad, I feel sad now that I’ve read this poem, thank you.”

While I have read werewolf poems before, I’d like to read this one (and the rest of the collection). I’m pretty intrigued by both some of the things he’s saying here about abnegating authority AND about accessibility of writing, particularly poetry. I may have to come back to this with more thoughts. But for the moment, WEREWOLF POETRY!

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