EARLY BOOK REVIEWS: A Miscellany of Diverse Things by Philip Kobylarz

Cultural commentary expressed in the format of a modern dictionary (more than 400 entries in this volume) characterizing what we cherish as meaningful. Great early reviews for A Miscellany of Diverse Things. Now available for purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble |  IndieBound | Waterstones | BAM! | Indigo ($15.95)

Book Reviews


“With nods to Flaubert’s Le Dictionnaire des Idées Recues and Bierce’s Devil’s Dictionary, Kobylarz moves beyond a contained lexicon to a flung-open cabinet of curiosities. Encyclopedic in its compilation (more than 400 entries in this volume), miscellany avoids the static inventory list of a storehouse to embody the world as theatre.” – Sabrina Barreto


“A Miscellany of Diverse Things surprises and delights readers no matter which page they light upon.  In “ice breakers” we smile and nod appreciatively as Kobylarz notes that these “can by definition never accomplish their goals, for we as humans are never as cold as frozen water.”  We recognize the truth in “kindness of strangers” as we read that indeed it “is best when unexpected, which it never is.  At the same time, it is about as rare as streets are clean.  Like that bedeviling form of love, it too must go unrequited.”  Whether you light upon “matchbooks” or “island seas,” “paper airplanes” or “calling cards,” or any other page, you will find both familiarity and insight in the pithy prose poems that underscore the talent of writer Philip Kobylarz.” -Simone J. Billings, Ph.D., Director of Core Writing, Department of English Santa Clara University


“A master of whimsy and insight, a slinger of words, a nihilist, a believer, an archarchist – all wrapped into one! Kobylarz transforms the mundane into the extraordinary in this new book. Nothing is spared his critical eye as he picks apart the world arounds us, criticizing as well as justifying the existence of the routine, the prosaic, and even the profane. As a result, we are all better for it. Yes, as Wordsworth is would say, the “world is too much with us,” but Kobylarz emphasises that this must always be so. We cannot turn away from our world. To do so would be the end of art everywhere.” – (5-stars) Amazon


“Kobylarz is digging deep and striking veins of originality with each new book. He’s never boring. He’s always fun. He’s not a lightweight, though. He’s a significant American talent with true dazzle and depth. I recommend him for the jaded and curious.” – (5-stars) Amazon


“What is this curiosity? A compendium of thought? A philosophy of epistemology? An antidote to ennui and the blah and non-reality that is now? `It is what it isn’t and everything more: song-like verbal constructions that lead us to that which inspires, to the real within the veneer. This is manic brilliance at its best and the odd thing: it’s all very funny. This is the type of book that you will return and return to to remember why we even have language in the first place.” – (5-stars) Amazon


“Upon completion of the first page, the reader will be intimately drawn in, Koby sets a stage and narrative like no other author in contemporary American literature. In short, he has no equals. He and his work stand on alone on a stage of their own making, a stage that is at once refreshingly new, and comfortably familiar. His first book ‘Rues’ set the tone for modern poetry, with his second, ‘Nowheresville.” he told multiple tales of tragedy, loss, and isolation. With this book, he continues in classic Kobylarz fashion, pushing the boundaries of American literature and, indeed, what is acceptable to put on a page.” – (5-stars) Amazon

A Miscellany of Diverse Things

Surgery is not simply a medical procedure. Surgery can also be a dissection – when absent of an intent to treat and correct, the procedure becomes a hungry curiosity to examine and investigate. At its purest, a dissection intricately probes to behold the internal. Kobylarz practices this surgery of delicate incisions in his mélange. The essence of a miscellany of diverse things is not merely to catalog a wunderkammer of everyday objects, but moreover to hold up a double mirror: one to reveal the interior lives of objects, and another to reflect the depths of their creators and owners. Kobylarz’s poetry may initially elevate the mundane, but its deepest design is to ask what the human possession divulges about the human being. The quotidian isn’t only ecstatic; the quotidian is a book of revelations.

With nods to Flaubert’s Le Dictionnaire des Idées Recues and Bierce’s Devil’s Dictionary, Kobylarz moves beyond a contained lexicon to a flung-open cabinet of curiosities. Encyclopedic in its compilation (more than 400 entries in this volume), A Miscellany of Diverse Things avoids the static inventory list of a storehouse to embody the world as theatre. There are no museum exhibits, with objects isolated and preserved in glass cases. Instead, Kobylarz places spotlights on the minute, under-appreciated, and even unloved. He regards common objects as pearls within the world of an oyster, but never forgets their genesis of grit and irritant. In these poems, wonder and oddity are fused as sure as Bowie lived.

Now Available!

Author: Philip Kobylarz
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-9976943-7-6
Pages: 208
Retail: Amazon | Barnes & Noble |  IndieBound | Waterstones | BAM! | Indigo ($15.95)
HUMOR / General. | HUMOR / Topic / Language. | POETRY / Subjects & Themes / General | LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / General | LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Vocabulary | LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Reference. Wholesale purchase options will be available for booksellers and non-booksellers. Contact Lit Riot Press.


About Philip Kobylarz

Philip Kobylarz is an itinerant teacher of the language arts and writer of fiction, journalism, poetry, book reviews, and essays. He has been a journalist, a film critic, a veterinarian’s assistant, a deliverer of furniture, and by default, an ascetic. His work appears in such publications as Paris ReviewPoetryThe Best American Poetry series, Massachusetts Review, andNew American Writing. His first book, Zen-inspired poems concerning life in the south of France, is entitled rues. His second book, short stories and a novella, is titled Now Leaving Nowheresville. His book-length essay about the city of Marseille & Provence that is a response to Baudrillard’s seminal text America is forthcoming from Truth Serum Press of Adelaide, Australia. He lives ever so temporarily in the east bay of San Francisco.