How Do You Like It Now, Gentlemen? – Lori Jakiela – 2021

Cover for How Do You Like It Now, Gentlemen? by Lori Jakiela.

How Do You Like It Now, Gentlemen?
Poems at Mid-Life
by Lori Jakiela
Illustrated by Tonya Spritz Kapis

Winner of the 2021 Wicked Woman prize for poems that focus on a woman who somehow “broke the mold.” In this memoir, the speaker of the poems sees herself as such a Wicked Woman in that she defied numerous conventions, suffered, survived, and…was able to laugh. Readers will hope there is  a bit of themselves in this tough, tender woman and poet.

Jakiela, like such top-tier American poets as Grace Paley, Edward Field, and Billy Collins, is able to write confessional poems that are equal parts ruminative and  humorous, and she does it all while sustaining a gorgeous lyricism. … It’s impossible to say [exactly] what I loved about How Do You Like it Now, Gentlemen? Lori Jakiela’s new, prize-winning collection of poems. After all, she writes so beautifully about such a variety of subjects—motherhood, literature, small-towns, marriage, Walt Whitman, fathers, hometowns, middle-age, Ernest Hemingway, difficult jobs…

— Kareem Tayyar, author of Orange County