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Enter the 2012
Book Prize

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Winner in the 2010 National Poetry Review Book Prize

Fort Gorgeous

by Angela Vogel





"If the Surrealists decided to market a line of practical jokes, Fort Gorgeous would be their catalog. Each poem is a squirt flower that sprays you with puns, yet Vogel goes way beyond word play: her cultural playing field includes everything from pig Latin to Dante, manga to Wuthering Heights. What a delight this book is!"
—David Kirby

"In her debut collection, Fort Gorgeous, poet Angela Vogel
uses vivid phrasing and imaginative wit to construct a realm both sublime and satirical. Here, the newly wakened Rip Van Winkle is warned to check on his garden gnomes ('the paprika of / landscape'), while the Crooked Man admits that his house is 'an abomination / in an otherwise orthogonal world.' Here, a contrarian venus flytrap brags 'I was the freak Darwin / shook from the trees. When the world pimped, / I primped. When the world pinched, I nipped.' What is not inspired by myth and nature is shaped by pop-culture pathos, as when we meet the 'Fat Chick' who knows 'When my body dies, my soul will rise / like the steam from a jelly roll.' These poems will be relished by any mind that appreciates clever, reflexive wordplay—and embraced by any heart that’s ever wondered if it, too, will survive journeying through 'the carpal / tunnel of love.'
Sandra Beasley


Angela Vogel's poems have appeared in Barrow Street, Best New Poets 2008, Gulf Coast, The Journal, The National Poetry Review, POOL, Verse Daily, etcetera. She received the 2008 Southeast Review Poetry Prize and a Maryland State poetry fellowship. She earned her MFA from the University of Maryland.