We are happy to announce Tom C. Hunley will be joining the Split Lip family with his killer collection of poems called The State That Springfield Is In, a full-length book of verse based on the Fox animated sitcom, The Simpsons. Here’s what we have to say about the book. We’re super excited to release it on November 10, 2015.
Inspired by America’s most prominent hallmark of modern pop culture, The Simpsons, poet Tom C. Hunley shares his narratives––autobiographical or allegorical––by channeling the eccentric personae of residents in the animated sitcom’s town, Springfield, and trusting their voices to speak on his behalf, resulting in true poetic entertainment. As author Denise Du Vernay states in the collection’s introduction, “Tom’s interaction with The Simpsons doesn’t follow sitcom or even cartoon rules. He doesn’t have to. Tom follows a mysterious set of rules, completely unknown to those of us without a poet’s sensibilities.” That is the sentiment that defines Hunley as an artist. He is a poet who has a firm grip on poetic formalism (the “rules”), but, as is the case with any true artist––perhaps a guitarist for the sake of a metaphoric example––Hunley knows when it’s time to part from his Eddie Van Halen trickery in exchange for what resonates with those who are unfamiliar with the “rules,” “theories, and “doctrines” of art: gritty power chords strummed in the manners of Kurt Cobain or Johnny Ramone.
While capable of boggling a reader’s mind with poetics only a limited audience bothers to appreciate these days, Hunley has taken to The Simpsons in order to depart from the shoebox diorama boundaries most readers and writers of verse wallow in, and instead reach out to those of us who want to feel aroused by humor and drama rather than feel disoriented by, for example, accounts of lucid dreaming juxtaposed with archaic Polish folklore found in the nationalistic opera of Stanislaw Moniuszko. In short, Hunley wants poetry back on the map as an element of pop culture rather than vaulted property of academia and patrons of Sotheby’s auction house. The State That Springfield Is In may very well be the poetry collection to materialize his bold objective.