How to Be Perfect

Poetry by Ron Padgett

September 1, 2007 • 6 x 9 • 128 pages • 978-1-56689-203-2

Required reading for humans.

Ron Padgett has reenergized modern poetry with exuberant and tender love poems, exceptionally lucid and touching elegies, and imaginative and action-packed homages to American culture and visual art. From the playful to the profound and from the practical to the political, How to Be Perfect tells us more about how to live well than a library full of self-help books.

About the Author

Ron Padgett grew up in Tulsa and has lived mostly in New York City since 1960. Among his many honors are a Guggenheim Fellowship, the American Academy of Arts and Letters poetry award, the Shelley Memorial Award, and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. Padgett’s How Long was Pulitzer Prize finalist in poetry and his Collected Poems won the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America and the Los Angeles Times prize for the best poetry book of 2013. In addition to being a poet, he is also the translator of Guillaume Apollinaire, Pierre Reverdy, and Blaise Cendrars. His own work has been translated into eighteen languages.

Thanks to a 2013 ADA Access Improvement Grant administered by VSA Minnesota for the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, this title is also formatted for screen readers which make text accessible to the blind and visually impaired. To purchase this title for use with a screen reader please call (612) 338-0125 or email us at info@coffeehousepress.org.


“Ron Padgett makes the most quiet and sensible of feelings a provocatively persistent wonder.” —Robert Creeley

“How to Be Perfect should remind us of how long Ron Padgett has managed to stay perfectly balanced on a tightrope of irony despite his verbal giddiness and the uproariousness of his imagination.” —Billy Collins