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Short Synopsis
Brilliant, illuminating criticism from a superstar poet—Equipment for Living is a refreshing, insightful look at how works of art, specifically poetry and popular music, can serve as essential tools for living.

Full Synopsis
How can art help us make sense of the world? With the same intelligence that animates his poetry, Michael Robbins addresses this weighty question while contemplating the idea of how strange it is that we need art at all.

Ranging from Prince to Def Leppard, Lucille Clifton to Frederick Seidel, Robbins's mastery of poetry and popular music shines in Equipment for Living. His singular ability to illustrate points with seemingly disparate examples (Friedrich Kittler and Taylor Swift, W. B. Yeats and Anna Kendrick's "Cups") will change the way you listen to music and read poetry. He weaves a discussion of poet Juliana Spahr with the different subsets of Scandinavian black metal, attaining insights few scholars can achieve. Equipment for Living is also a wonderful guide to essential poetry and popular music.

"Ugh, there should be a law against being as smart as Michael Robbins. Here he is, interspersing these exhilarating micro-readings of modern poetry and pop music—which he treats, in a moving and 100% convincing way as a single tradition—with an overarching argument for the function of poetry!" ---Elif Batuman, author of The Idiot

“Michael Robbins can deal up and down with Wallace Stevens and Taylor Swift, Gwendolyn Brooks and Def Leppard, Frederick Seidel and Prince. He has done all the reading about the form, function, and economy of art, but also done the feeling about the desire and need of it. Unashamed, he wants to rock. Won't you take a chance on him?” ---Ben Ratliff, author of Every Song Ever

"This man can write." ---Dwight Garner, New York Times

"Funny, profane, insightful, petulant, elegant, heart-felt. Not that its heart is in the right place. Its heart is all over the place, which is where a good heart should be: spreading agony and consolation and devotion." ---Mark Z. Danielewski, author of Only Revolutions

Equipment for Living

On Poetry and Pop Music

Author Michael Robbins

Narrated by Rudy Sanda

Publication date Jul 18, 2017

Running time 7 hrs 8 min

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