J Patrick Lewis

The Underwear Salesman and Other Jobs for Better or Verse
J. Patrick Lewis
Atheneum, 2009

If you’re looking for a laugh-out-loud alternative to the usual short list of funny poets, look no further that J. Patrick Lewis. This book is a perfect example of his craft.  Sure, he sees the laughs with the underwear salesman, who says of his wares, “You wear them briefly.” But other characters fill these pages with insight and cleverness, including “Elevator Operator” (“Step into my/Rocket room”), “Poet” (“I take a word, and then another,/Let them get to know each other”), and the “Highway Line Painter” (“To keep you out of trouble, fellow,/I like to paint the lines double yellow”).

You must visit his website: www.jpatricklewis.com. Not only will you find many books of humorous poetry, you will also see his books on more serious topics, like The Brothers’ War: Civil War Voices in Verse, Michelangelo’s World, Monumental Verses, and Vherses: A Collection of Outstanding Women. And check out Castles: Old Stone Poems, Pat’s collaboration with Rebecca Kai Dotlich. (Full disclosure: Pat and I have collaborated on two books of poems for kids: Wing Nuts: Screwy Haiku and Birds on a Wire: A Renga ‘Round Town.) A versatile and underappreciated poet for young readers.

Pat’s first book of poems for adults, Gulls Hold Up the Sky: New and Collected Poems, will be published late this year or early 2011 by Laughing Fire Press. Keep reading my site and you will be the first in your neighborhood to know when it hits the streets.


Text from The Underwear Salesman And Other Jobs for Better or Verse copyright © 2009 by J. Patrick Lewis. Illustration copyright © 2009 by Serge Bloch