“From the black absurdist mayhem of ‘Autopoiesis’ to the lovely classical prose of ‘Savages,’ Chris Hallman nails our uneasy merging of fact and fantasy, our ritual longings in a dispirited age. These are beautiful moral tales, dark and inventive like Hawthorne, funny and dreamy like the best of Cheever. The Hospital for Bad Poets is great news for tired times.” Charles D’Ambrosio, author of The Dead Fish Museum
“These shrewd, oblique stories run the gamut from the romance of microbiology to illicit trysts in hedgerows. Along the way, Hallman skewers modern life with the toolkit left behind by Donald Barthelme, Shirley Jackson, and a monkeywrench borrowed from Rod Serling. At bottom, The Hospital for Bad Poets is filled with mysteries and delights.” Brent Spencer, author of Are We Not Men?
“What I like most about Hallman is his surreal depiction of American life and love. Somehow he’s able to find the strangeness in the familiar and the familiar in the strange. The result is a compelling collection rich with insights and ironies. This is fiction at its weirdest and most wonderful.” Jonis Agee, author of The River Wife
“In a nutshell, the amazing stories in J.C. Hallman’s collection The Hospital for Bad Poets are not unlike pop parables for our times, or magical puzzles, and they are witty, intelligent, inventive, satirical, farcical, and finally full of a profound seriousness of purpose, not to mention as funny as a barrel full of philosophers. Imagine Woody Allen trick-or-treating in a Kafka (or maybe Nietzsche) mask, going story-to-story pretending to be Average Man merely disguised as a secret solipsist, as he attempts to unriddle the absurdity of ordinary Halloweened life for a laugh.” Chuck Kinder, author of Honeymooners
“A hard-eyed look at the mess we humans have made of our earthly home, J.C. Hallman’s stories also trace with rare delicacy the tentative approaches each alienated soul makes toward another. The writing throughout is polished, witty, and fiery.” Jean McGarry, author of A Bad and Stupid Girl
“Hallman’s understanding of the depth of human suffering equals his fiendish wit: The Hospital for Bad Poets marks an inventive debut into the world of the allusive.” Edie Meidav, author of Crawl Space