Verse and Worse: Selected and New Poems of Steve McCaffery 1989–2009 presents texts from the last two decades of work by Steve McCaffery, one of the most influential and innovative of contemporary poets. The volume focuses on selections from McCaffery’s major texts, including The Black Debt, Theory of Sediment, The Cheat of Words, and Slightly Left of Thinking, but also features a substantial number of previously ungathered poems. As playful as they are cerebral, McCaffery’s poems stage an incessant departure from conventional lyrical and narrative methods of making meaning. For those encountering McCaffery’s work for the first time as well as for those who have followed the twists and turns of his astonishingly heterogeneous poetic trajectory over the past four decades—this volume is essential reading.
"The quest for a wider audience for poetry may be quixotic, but this series makes a serious attempt to present attractive, affordable selections that speak to contemporary interests and topics that might engage a younger generation of readers. Yet it does not condescend, preferring to provide substantial and sophisticated poets to these new readers. At the very least, these slim volumes will make very useful introductory teaching texts in post-secondary classrooms because they whet the appetite without overwhelming. "- Paul Milton, Canadian Literature, 193, Summer 2007
"The wait. ..was worthwhile, as [WLU Press has] released a volume that captures the essence of McCaffery. "- John Herbert Cunningham, Prairie Fire