"A tribute to the long purple line of spandex-clad, boot-stomping professional wrestlers who have rocked the squared-circle, W. Todd Kaneko’s The Dead Wrestler Elegies is my favorite verse collection of the year! This binary-busting work bushwhacks a third path between image and text, ode and elegy, low and high, love and hate, soft and hard, tame and crazy, order and chaos, spontaneous and choreographed, introducing to the serious world of poetry a corner of pop culture often brushed aside as farce. Kaneko’s fearless and expert lines prove that contemporary muses include Andre the Giant, Miss Elizabeth, and the Junkyard Dog. You don’t have to be a die-hard wrestling fan or have a PhD in poetry to appreciate The Dead Wrestler Elegies because it provides a direct line to the heart of what it means to be—simultaneously—a soul trapped within the body’s confines and a human desperate for relationship. So get your carcass down to your local bookstore and pick up a copy today!"— Mel Morrow
These elegies and illustrations by Asian American poet W. Todd Kaneko cover themes of loss, love, regret, redemption, and remorse. Kaneko's poems and illustrations blend Charles Bukowski's raw-boned verse and Randy "Macho Man" Savage's devastating elbow drop to mine the history of professional wrestling and examine complex relationships between fathers and sons.
About the Author
W. Todd Kaneko is from Seattle, Washington. His poetry, fiction and non-fiction can be seen in Bellingham Review, Los Angeles Review, Southeast Review, Lantern Review, NANO Fiction, The Collagist, Blackbird, The Huffington Post, Song of the Owashtanong: Grand Rapids Poetry in the 21st Century, Bring the Noise: The Best Pop Culture Essays from Barrelhouse Magazine and elsewhere. He received his MFA in Creative Writing from Arizona State University and has received fellowships from the Kenyon Review Writers Workshop and Kundiman. He is an associate editor for DMQ Review. Currently, he teaches in the Department of Writing at Grand Valley State University. He lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan with the writer Caitlin Horrocks.