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The Black Cat Guide to Grammar Through Light Verse

Barrie Gauthier

Pages: 182
ISBN: 978-145755-168-0
List Price: 11.95
Available: February 2017
Edition: Perfectbound

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The Black Cat Guide to Grammar through Light Verse contains more than 155 poems, two-thirds of which are on the subject of English grammar. Think of it as a grammar primer, if you will, that will instruct you on a large number of topics including: semicolons, possessive apostrophes, parts of speech, writing a limerick, adverbs, the Oxford comma, ending a sentence with a preposition, predicate nominatives, pronouns with implied verbs, vocabulary, and, of course, the pluperfect subjunctive. The last third of the book contains random, non-grammatically related poems on such diverse subjects as Frank Zappa, cooking with onions, solving simultaneous equations, Ohm’s law, and the $2 bill. All the poems are clever, a bit snarky, and include a zinger.

Barrie Gauthier by profession is an electronics engineer. At a very early age, though, he was memorizing jingles and songs that he heard on the radio and television. At seven, he wrote his first poem, “My Mother.” His inspiration for writing light verse (or song lyrics) was influenced by those such as Oscar Hammerstein II, Frederic Loewe, Tom Lehrer, Stan Freeburg, Ogden Nash, Irving Berlin, Meredith Wilson, Richard Armour, Lynne Truss, Ben Yagoda, and many others. How he became interested in writing poems about grammar is unclear. (Especially when you consider that he’s an engineer!) The poems accumulated slowly over the years and, upon retirement to Hot Springs Village, Arkansas in 2012, Barrie found that he had written some 60 poems about grammar—and had time to write more! Ponty, The Black Cat, is Barrie’s beautiful feral cat rescued in Santa Monica as a kitten (or ki’-en, if you do the glottal stop) some 13 years ago.

Ray Robinson
Ray Robinson

When Ray first entered the publishing industry, authors relied on “vanity presses” to produce their work – many of whom would charge $15,000 or more and leave the author’s garage filled with hundreds of books. Ray, along with coworker Alan Harris, joined forces with Miles Nelson to create Dog Ear Publishing to provide the author community a self-publisher with a heart. The group’s application of new technologies and publishing on demand reduced the cost of publishing a book to a fraction of what it had been for previous generations; authors now have the ability to publish a book in as little as six weeks and print as few as a single copy.