by Paul Fericano

Book cover featuring Burt Lancaster

Silver Birch Press is pleased to announce the March 20, 2015 release of The Hollywood Catechism, a 110-page collection of poems by Paul Fericano.

In The Hollywood Catechism Paul Fericano shines a bright searchlight on our addiction to pop culture, our fixation on celebrity worship, and our suspicion of religious ideas. Each poem is a small lens flipped to reveal an alternate universe into which the reader enters bravely with no exit sign in sight. Fericano's unique perspective is marked by a skill and talent that blends socio-political satire with suffering and sentiment. In the process, he manages to acknowledge our shenanigans and celebrate our humanity.

Elizabeth Taylor, Jesus, and Joe DiMaggio join hands with Freud, The Three Stooges, and Ann Landers, as Burt Lancaster, Charles Bukowski, and Johnny Unitas break bread with Wallace Stevens, Dean Martin, and Dinah Shore. And as U2's Bono and Tyrone Power's Zorro haunt each other's dreams, the Marx Brothers discuss opera with Oprah. From the wickedly satirical "Sinatra, Sinatra" and its use of the crooner's name in vain, to the irreverent appeal of "The Actor's Creed," "The Halle Berry" and "Prayer of the Talking Head," Fericano's lampoons are equally deft. The book's empathetic "Howl of Lon Chaney, Jr." is not only a luminous parody of Allen Ginsberg's epic poem "Howl," but a stunning work that stands on its own merits.

American/British poet and critic, Robert Peake, captured it best when he wrote: "Paul's poetry is a distinct turn of mind &madash; able to sweep up humor, irony, and deep feeling in a winning trifecta. It is precisely in the moment I am laughing in a Paul Fericano poem that my guard is down. It is then when Paul slips in a modicum of pathos, reminding me of how complex it is to be human, how, as Virginia Woolf puts it in Mrs. Dalloway, 'dangerous it is to live even just one day.' These are poems that read like the messages in a bottle that might be written by the last sane man on Earth, when everyone else has gone mad."

The Hollywood Catechism is now available at


is a poet, satirist and social activist. He was born in San Francisco in 1951, the year the term "rock and roll" was first used on the radio. He is the editor and co-founder of Yossarian Universal (1980), the nation's first parody news service. Since 1971, his poetry and prose have appeared, disappeared and reappeared in various underground and above-ground literary and media outlets in this country and abroad, including: The Antarctic Review, Inside Joke, Mother Jones, Poetry Now, Projector, The Realist, Saturday Night Live, SoHo Arts Weekly, Vagabond, The Wormwood Review, and Catavencu Incomod (Romania), Charlie Hebdo (Paris), Il Male (Italy), Krokodil (Moscow), Pardon (Germany), Punch (London) and Satyrcón (Argentina).

His chapbooks and books of poetry and fiction include: Cancer Quiz (Scarecrow Books, 1977); Commercial Break (Poor Souls Press, 1982); The One Minute President (with Elio Ligi / Stroessner Verlag, 1986); and Interview with the Scalia (Peabody Press, 1994). Loading the Revolver with Real Bullets (Second Coming Press, 1977), a collection of his work partly funded by the state of California, achieved notoriety in 1978, when one of its poems, "The Three Stooges at a Hollywood Party," was read on the floor of the California State Senate as a reason to abolish the California Arts Council.

In 1982, he received the Howitzer Prize for his poem, "Sinatra, Sinatra," an award he himself created and exposed as a literary hoax to reveal the absurd nature of competitive awards. The following year, Commercial Break received both the Prix de Voltaire (Paris) and the Ambrose Bierce Prize (San Francisco) for upholding the traditions of socio-political satire.

He currently serves as director of Instruments of Peace/ SafeNet (2003), a nonprofit reconciliation group for survivors of clergy sexual abuse and writes an online column on the healing process (A Room With A Pew). He is a resident of the San Francisco peninsula.