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  • Crislers New Book of Prose Set to the Music of Heartbreak
For Immediate Release
December 05, 2012

Crislers New Book of Prose Set to the Music of Heartbreak

Key Info

  • IPFW Professor Curtis L. Crisler publishes new collection of prose poems, Soundtrack to Latchkey Boy
  • Poems inspired by 80s R&B hit, “Mama Used to Say”
  • Released in December by Finishing Line Press
Crislers New Book of Prose Set to the Music of Heartbreak Image 1
Assistant Professor of English Curtis L. Crisler Print-quality image

FORT WAYNE, Ind.—Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) Assistant Professor of English Curtis L. Crisler has published a new collection of prose poems—an album of heartbreak music in verse—Soundtrack to Latchkey Boy.

The 18-poem collection is told through the voice of one whose people migrated to northern urban cities in the mid-20th century, attracted by promises of jobs and opportunities for the Black population. Crisler calls the movement “Urban Midwestern Sensibility.”

His subject’s journey is interwoven with the 1982 R&B hit by Junior, “Mama Used to Say.” During the two-year process of writing poetry, the song kept looping in Crisler’s head. That’s when he knew Soundtrack should be a book of prose poems. “I wanted a cadence to the poems that trailed off from the song … into the things that my mother actually would say,” says Crisler. The result is a coming-of-age tale by an unknown storyteller told in swirling diction and fragments of remembered parental wisdom.

The book will be released by Finishing Line Press ( later this month.

Crisler’s books include Dreamist: mixed-genre novel, Tough Boy Sonatas; Pulling Scabs (nominated for a Pushcart award), and his chapbook Spill, which won the 2008 Keyhole Chapbook Award from Keyhole Press. He also edited a nonfiction book, Leaving Me Behind: Writing a New Me, on the Summer Bridge experience at IPFW. He is the recipient of fellowships from VCCA, Cave Canem, and Soul Mountain, and was a guest resident at Hamline University. Crisler was the recipient of the Sterling Plumpp First Voices Poetry Award, an Indiana Arts Commission Grant, and the Eric Hoffer Award, and was nominated for the Eliot Rosewater Award. His poetry has been adapted to theatrical productions in New York and Chicago, and he has been published in a variety of magazines, journals, and anthologies.

For more information about Soundtrack to Latchkey Boy, contact Crisler at 260-481-6769 or