The Romance of Happy Workers

Poetry by Anne Boyer

April 1, 2008 • 6 x 9 • 90 pages • 978-1-56689-214-8

An exciting new American poet harvests fields of sound from the seeds of her bucolic vocabulary.

The Romance of Happy Workers swaggers through a world of cowboys, conquistadors, comrades, and housewives with mock-Russian lyric sequences and Keatsian swoon. Political and iconoclastic, Anne Boyer’s poems dally in pastoral camp and a dizzying, delightful array of sights and sounds born from the dust of the Kansas plains where dinner for two is cooked in Fire King and served on depression ware, and where bawdy instructions for a modern “Home on the Range” read:

Mix a drink of stock lot:
vermouth and the water table.
And the bar will smell of IBP.
And you will lick my Laura Ingalls.

In Boyer’s heartland, “Surfaces should be worn. Lamps should smolder. / Dahlias do bloom like tumors. The birds do rise like bombs.” And the once bright and now crumbling populism of Marxists, poets, and folksingers springs vividly back to life as realism, idealism, and nostalgia do battle amongst the silos and ditchweed.

About the Author

A visual artist and poet, Anne Boyer is the author of The Romance of Happy Workers (Coffee House Press, 2008). She was born in Topeka, Kansas and educated at Kansas State University and Wichita State University. After a decade spent teaching in Missouri and Iowa, she recently returned to Kansas where she co-edits the poetry journal Abraham Lincoln.


“Playful, literary, angry, sexy, Anne Boyer’s poems are filled with metamorphoses and composite creatures. . . . There is a recalcitrant subjectivity at the heart of this book, which grabs the old poets by the throat and then gives them a great big kiss.” —Jennifer Moxley

“A very elegant book.” —Joshua Clover, Third Factory

“Of all the poetry I love, the rarest are those books making me a compulsory vacuum. Anne Boyer stays put once read, and later breaks the surface of my days where I find the nerve to lean on poetry to live. ‘Darkling, who listens?’ she asks, but if trends in nose-to-tail dining are any indication, this is the whole thing coming through the new door. Some of the latest enduring insights, sexy in the city or leaning on the silo, a madness of pleasure awaits when dancing on the hot coals with Anne Boyer!” —CA Conrad

“In this work, you can find the intersection between Post-Newtonian physics and Hermes Trismegistus.” —Diane Wakoski