The New One

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“Mike Birbiglia and Jen Stein are the best collaborators since Emily Dickinson teamed up with her long-winded comedian friend. I’m joking because I cannot express how much this book affected me and how many times it made me cry.”―John Mulaney, comedian

“Mike Birbiglia & J. Hope Stein have written the seminal parenting tome–side-splittingly funny from the first word to the last delicious bite. It’s a page-turner, wise and wise-assed, the comic hit of the year. Whether you’ve been a parent or ever had one: you’ll love this knockout!”―Mary Karr, author of The Liars’ Club, Cherry, and Lit

“Life is not the same after having children. It’s delusional to pretend otherwise. But Mike Birbiglia and J. Hope Stein have not only survived, they’re making their most hilarious and truthful art yet. This book might save your best friend’s life.”―Lin-Manuel Miranda, Pulitzer Prize Winning writer of Hamilton

“This is a brilliant, funny, big-hearted version of he-said, she-said. Birbiglia and Stein trade jokes and poems and splendid storytelling about their roundabout stumble into parenthood. It’s hilarious, humane, often beautiful, and absolutely captivating.”―Susan Orlean, staff writer at The New Yorker and New York Times bestselling author of The Library Book

“The genius of this book is that Mike Birbiglia and J. Hope Stein have invented a totally new form. He tells incredibly funny stories. She gives a gorgeous, epic view of the same events, in poetry (she’s a published poet who’s been in The New Yorker). It’s about what they went through together, not wanting to have kids, and then having kids, through these two very different lenses. Their diabolical writing trick: sometimes she delivers the laughs and he delivers the feelings.”―Ira Glass, host of Public Radio’s This American Life

“In a ‘town where everyone is pretending to be happy and pretending to be in good marriage and pretending to be in a nice house’ it takes a poet and a comedian to tell us the truth. What is this truth? That we are lost, but trying to find ourselves, that we are awkward but long for grace, we are cruel but delight at the slightest drop of tenderness. This book is hilarious because it shows us a mirror that doesn’t lie. It sings because words give delight in each simplest moment. Imagine Groucho Marx and Jane Kenyon sit at the kitchen table and compose a book of days. When nothing else helps, it is a sense of humor and a beautiful song that will get us through.”―Ilya Kaminsky, author of Deaf Republic and Dancing in Odessa

“I wish I had read The New One before having a kid. Mike confronts parenthood with the kind of devastating honesty that can’t help but be funny, and Jen’s poems capture what prose can’t. In a better world, this book would be sold with every pregnancy test in America.”―Bess Kalb, author of Nobody Will Tell You This But Me

“If The New One on Broadway is a raucous, tumbling tour through the many roomed house that is Mike and Jen’s journey into parenthood, then this book is a long, cozy weekend inside the home. Mike makes you coffee and settles in to tell his story at a wonderfully readable pace, bringing detail and nuance impossible to contain in the stage show. Jen’s poetry is the big stunner, an outrageous treasure casually presented, emeralds strewn amongst crumbs across the kitchen table, a string of pearls hanging on a doorknob.”―Jacqueline Novak, author of How to Weep in Public

little astronaut

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little astronaut is a little book of early motherhood poems and writings, three of which  were in Mike Birbiglia’s The New One on Broadway and on Netflix.

The first edition of little astronaut is sold out. All proceeds went to Every Mother Counts.

I occasionally have small batches of 100 for sale. If you are interested go to this link and put in a request to be emailed when they are back in stock.  All proceeds will continue to go to Every Mother Counts. 

Check back here about news of the 2nd edition.

Artwork by Claire Keane

more about little astronaut:

There’s that moment in Thornton Wilder’s Our Town, when Emily Webb asks from the grave, “Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it? –every, every minute?” “No,” she’s told. “The saints and poets, maybe. —they do some.” J. Hope Stein realizes life not just as she lives it, but as she gives it. In little astronaut we feel her give life, feed life, and wait for the time when the person she made must live life, “every, every minute” all on its own. I don’t know from Saints. But J. Hope Stein is Poet. I read this collection, choked-up, laughing, and in awe.

John Mulaney

 

J. Hope Stein is one of my favorite poets. Her images are outrageously vivid and memorable. Her music is alive, is unpredictable, is tender, is voracious. 

little astronaut is a beautiful orchestration of the strange experience we call human. There is humor here, and wisdom. This astronaut shows us how to find, among the most mundane details, a little bit of magic. In our era of so much destruction and disappointment, what luck to come across this bundle of laughter.

❤ Ilya Kaminsky ❤

 

In Little Astronaut, J. Hope Stein writes a parental love so new to her, so overwhelming, that the poems read almost as if Stein were the first person to feel parental love at all. Rarely do such poems so thoroughly inhabit the moment. These poems convince me, effortlessly, that I am seeing the world new.

❤ Shane McCrae ❤ 

 

The brave, electric, hilarious and indelibly true poems of LITTLE ASTRONAUT convey the utter shock that is, has always been, and will always be…parenthood.

❤ Jean Hanff Korelitz ❤

 

Through J. Hope Stein, the reader sees mothering an infant as a primal force to be reckoned with. Tempered by humor and love, J. Hope Stein puts us in it, in her very bodily experience of it.  I weaned my son years ago, and … uh … I was afraid my milk was going to come in while reading these funny, irreverent, intense poems.  

❤ Joanna Penn Cooper ❤

>>>>

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I’ve been joining Mike Birbiglia on stage for comedy/poetry experiments at theaters like the Cherry Lane Theater and Largo at the Coronet. 

 

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(Cover artwork by Kate Micucci.)

 

J. Hope Stein is the author of Occasionally, I remove your brain through your nose (Poet Republik, 2017).

Her poems can be found in The New Yorker, Poetry International, Lenny Letter, In the Shape of a Human Body I Am Visiting the Earth: Poems from Far and Wide (McSweeney’s and Poetry International, 2017).

*****

“J. Hope Stein is one of my favorite poets …

Her images are outrageously vivid and memorable. Her music is alive, is unpredictable, is tender, is voracious. She updates the music of a great poet—say, John Berryman—into the 21st century, making the bard alive again, making the voice bristle with a verbal energy in this moment in time. But she is a poet all her own–unlike anyone else–writing a kind of music in which “the sky/drools sweetly to the ear” with sound that is full of emotion, full of erotic, ecstatic, essential moments: “I’m listening to Beethoven/…music swells/as it disappears into my pelvis.”

This is the kind of music that can take our most domestic moments–in which two people find themselves bewildered, and yet inseparable, in love–and see how they “act as two animals holding invisible balloons.” This music teaches us that our domestic joys, perhaps, are our last defense.

J. Hope Stein uses this defense of music, this shield of verbal art, against our moment’s ugliest creatures: “The steel men. The financiers. The patrons/of the petroleum arts,” and other kinds of trash, Donald Trump first in line among them. This poet knows that a time comes when only music and sensuality can still protect the soul. A time comes when there is no more time for the trivial. And she gives us the incredible energy, incredible verve of such saving music. Like I said, one of my favorite poets.”

 Ilya Kaminsky

 

A perfect book of poems for the contemplative weirdo.”

❤ Lena Dunham

 

“J. Hope Stein’s poetry is inspired. Thick, playful, rewarding and true.”

❤ Pete Holmes

 

“ … perversely nourishing … ”

Joe Pan, Brooklyn Arts Press

 

“… fresh, vital, surprising, and impactful … Occasionally, I Remove Your Brain Through Your Nose is a gem…

… a whirlwind of blazing insight lightly wrapped in deft and nimble language.

… You may feel after reading Occasionally, I Remove Your Brain Through Your Nose that Stein has performed just that feat upon you … a thorough wringing of the mind…”

Cheyanne Gustason, New Pages 

 

“The book is brief, but the imagery and thought in it is so rich, it keeps expanding. Simultaneously, a giggle can build into a full-body laughing fit …

… [the book] ends in the middle of our thinking, our fruitless, round-and-round thinking, our not-learning-from-history-and-thus-repeating-it thinking, our wonderfully-inventive-yet-unable-to-save-ourselves-or-stop-ourselves thinking…. It’s a brilliant choice; it leaves the reader thinking and aware of her own responsibility in these matters. What should we do? What can we do? What will we do? Pondering it, I may pull my brain out through my nose.”

 Kathleen Kirk, Escape into Life

 

“J. Hope Stein’s Newest Book of Poems is an Imagistic Insight into Modern Love and Politics”

❤ Matt Fowler, Homestead Review

Occasionally, I remove your brain through your nose

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You can buy Occasionally, I remove your brain through your nose here at Poet Republik. (thanks! Maria Teutsch).

My poems are the luckiest poems that ever were to be bouncing around inside the cover artwork of (a thousand thank yous) Kate Micucci.  

Excerpts from Occasionally, I remove your brain through your nose are up at: Lenny LetterPoetry International  and bloodroot.

 

*****

An excerpt from The Inventor is in the latest monster issue of Poetry International. Ilya Kaminsky and his team in San Diego have outdone themselves with a wholly holly alive collection of work from poets too sacred to name. (but here is the HOT cover which lists them). (also check out PI’s important and devastating reporting from Syria , Ukraine, and more, including their Poetry in a Time of Crisis issue.

 

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*****

 

October 1 reading at KGB Bar with the brilliant !!! Jean Hanff Korelitz!!! 

(here’s a photo from a reading a few months ago at KGB Bar with my girl strapped to me. I don’t think she will let me do that any more.)

 

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