books

Skunk: A Love Story

(novel)

“The skunk-obsessed narrator of Justin Courter’s excellent, off-kilter love story, leads his lucky reader through a flare-lit labyrinth of unusual, and unusually rewarding, instances.  This is fine, fierce writing: an auspicious debut.”
– Laird Hunt

“Thoreau meets Timothy Leary in this outrageous and cautionary tale of what happens when two olfactory obsessions collide. An audacious debut.”
– Brian Evenson

The Heart of It All

(novel)

“If Jim Harrison’s Brown Dog were mind-melded with Holden Caulfield, you’d probably end up with a guy like John Ritter, the well-meaning protagonist of Justin Courter’s assured and very funny new novel The Heart of It All. Here is a writer who sees the world in all its beauty and disgrace, one who shows it to us in ways we haven’t quite seen before now. Every page offers up a treasure.”
– Christine Sneed

“Justin Courter’s The Heart of It All is a trenchant critique of contemporary American culture in the guise of an always amusing and at times hilarious coming of age novel (though granted our hero, the hapless John Ritter, is taking his time on the coming of age part). Courter is a wickedly funny writer with a sharp eye for the ugliness in the ordinary and the beauty in the bizarre.”
– Ed Falco

The Death of the Poem: And Other Paragraphs

(prose poems)

“A consumer devours himself, a junk-food addict eats from garbage cans, a titmouse lives in a woman’s bra: there is a demented literal-mindedness to these funny, fast-paced prose poems that turns the world inside out and reveals every smidgen of its goofy, delicious splendor.”
 – David Kirby
 
The Death of the Poem is one of the most entertaining, witty, surprising books I’ve read in years. It’s also, in the best possible way, very weird. Justin Courter’s is a world where a consumer consumes himself, arms and all; a poet dresses in blue bubble wrap and wears small boats on his feet; and an old man sits at his desk writing Russell Edson’s poems for him. ‘I got an idea for reality,’ Courter writes at one point. ‘I’ll call it television. It’s a mirror with a box of brains in it.’ But these poems aren’t merely winkingly surreal, but are filled with anxiety, insight, and rage, pointing always toward very real human passions and difficulties.”
– Kevin Prufer

My work is included in these anthologies.

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