Review: A Collection of Poems inspired by The Office’s “Dinner Party” episode

Heya book bees! This is an unusual review post for a few reasons. One, it’s not on a book but a collection of poems published on a blog. The blog in question is called The Daily Drunk and functions as a fast turn around literary magazine where you can get responses to your submissions in less than ten minutes sometimes! I’ve personally been published there as well, getting my acceptance in about ten minutes. They also do something on Fridays sometimes where they pick an episode of The Office (US) and publish poetry sent in inspired by that episode.

So this review will be of the collection of poems published last week inspired by “Dinner Party,” the infamous episode in which Jan throws one of Michael’s Dundies at his tiny plasma television! I won’t be doing my usual format obviously, but let me know in the comments if you enjoy this version of a review and maybe I’ll start stalking more online literary publications!

Theme: “Dinner Party” poetry

For this goofy little prompt, the EIC at The Daily Drunk called on poets to give their takes on this single episode of The Office. The poems ranged from perspectives–everything from Michael’s plasma TV to Pam’s glass of wine was covered–to insightful takes on the abuse Jan hurled at Michael. The poems are strangely emotional at a point, taking the comedy of the episode to point out the underlying strife that inspired the conflicts between various characters.

Interesting Takes

Throughout most of the poems there’s a focus on the toxic relationship between Jan and Michael that comes to a head in this episode. Even comedic poems, focusing on the hilarity of the night, mention things such as Jan’s affair with her former assistant and Michael’s vasectomies as darker moments in their falsely happy relationship. Meanwhile one poem “Takes Two to Tangle,” asks the reader to consider that there’s a second side to the story in which Michael isn’t the blameless hero, and Jan isn’t the devil.

Many of the poems dealt with themes of abuse, absurdity, and extreme anger. It’s clear in the episode that Jan and Michael were struggling, but the poems really bring out new takes on that especially by diversifying the perspectives to inanimate objects and other characters.

The Poems

It would be pretty ridiculous of me to tell you about this poetry and not give you a way to read it for yourselves, huh? So here are two links: one to the Twitter thread in which all these poems were linked, and one to The Daily Drunk’s own website!

The Daily Drunk magazine

Final Thoughts: Being Goofy in Publishing

I think it’s easy for us as bookworms to forget how intense the idea of publication can be. As a writer myself, I know that the pressure and anticipation of waiting to hear back from a publication can be a lot to handle. It can be hard to enjoy the process at that point, and discouraging to a lot of people. Poetry like this is written spontaneously and for fun, inspired by a television show and published without edits or pressure. The Daily Drunk chose to be goofy for a night and allow the writers on Twitter that follow them to be goofy as well, with the reward being a chance to show off their goofy poetry to like minded writers. I think as readers it’s good to encourage this kind of fun and spontaneity. It’s a bit more difficult if we largely support published books, but not impossible! Seek out smaller publishers and magazines like this one, enjoy some of the fun content being put out by indie publishers and what authors release themselves!

By Catherine

I'm a lover of books, coffee, wine, and bees. Happy to join the ranks of book bloggers everywhere!

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