Hamline News

New Book from MFAC Faculty Ron Koertge


Olympusville, by Ron Koertge (MFAC Faculty)

Published by Red Hen Press
Illustrated by Alicia Kleman
May 2018

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Imagine a heaven populated by familiar Greek gods. Sexy Aphrodite, gorgeous Adonis, Ares the warmonger, Artemis the huntress, wise Athena, bitter Demeter, and the like. But imagine also each of these denizens of Olympus stepping forward and revealing qualities that any reader can recognize: Hades, ruler of the underworld, lovesick for Persephone. Baffled Hephaestus, god of fire, husband of Aphrodite who can't keep her clothes on. Add a defiant Sisyphus and a cadre of grumpy water nymphs and those are only some of the inhabitants of Olympusville, —a fantastic and, in the hands of poet Ron Koertge and illustrator Alicia Kleman, endlessly intriguing world.

Olympusville is a hybrid of poems-and-illustrations about the antics of the Greek gods. Billy Collins calls this collection “invigorating and hilarious.” Gene Yang, a recent MacArthur Fellow, says, “Who knew these old gods could be so funny, so charming and so disarmingly tragic.”  


“Wit lets down its guard and, behold: charm, intelligence, amazing inventiveness, and a kind of sweetness in its patient regard for a world so frequently bereft of those qualities. So what could be more welcome than a new Koertge collection, where wit presides, and wisdom elegantly clothed in laughter is always in attendance.”
B. H. Fairchild, author of The Blue Buick: New and Selected Poems  

“Koertge chronicles secret hungers and vulnerabilities, acerbic tenderness, and the soul’s wrestling match with what it wants versus what it needs and deserves.”
–Amy Gerstler, author of Dearest Creature