Hart Seely

While many satirists poke fun at presidential elections and those who triumph in those elections by creating memes and political cartoons, Hart Seely writes poetry. A resident of Syracuse, Seeley was a long-time, award-winning reporter for the Syracuse Post-Standard, but his humorous writings have appeared far beyond the Salt City in the likes of The New Yorker, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Slate, National Lampoon, and on National Public Radio. Seely’s work enjoys mining political figures and his beloved Yankees for laughs. Seely put U.S. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld’s words to verse in Pieces of Intelligence: The existential Poetry of Donald H. Rumsfeld and tackled former Yankee Phil Rizzuto with O Holy Cow: The Selected Verse of Phil Rizzuto. The New York Times critic A.O. Scott described Seely’s book on Rumsfeld as demonstrating an ability to arrange “some of the public pronouncements into spiky evocative morsels of free verse.”

Seely’s other explorations of his favorite topics include The Juju Rules: Or, How to Win Ballgames From Your Couch: A Memoir of a Fan Obsessed and Mrs. Goose goes to Washington: Nursery Rhymes for the Political Barnyard. Most recently, he mined Donald Trump’s interviews, speeches, and tweets for a collection of 200 poems titled Bard of the Deal: The Poetry of Donald Trump, which was published in December 2015 by HarperCollins and includes Trump’s thoughts on everything from America to junk food, hair, walls, women, and viagra. For an idea of how Seeley transformed Trump from Republican nominee to poet laureate, consider “Procreation”:

Frankly, I wouldn’t mind
If there were anti-viagra
Something with
The opposite effect.

I’m not bragging.

— Maggie Gilroy