A.M. Juster’s comic verse is a national treasure. It ought to be locked up in Fort Knox — but no, every reader deserves a crack at it. Juster is that rare bird, a satirist hard on himself, a poet who wears his learning lightly, as shown in his uproarious translations from Latin and Middle Welsh. Moreover, there are splendid epigrams, epitaphs, and parodies — wow, a takeoff that captures T. S. Eliot, Wallace Stevens, and William Carlos Williams all at the same time. Sleaze & Slander is long overdue. Read it and be regaled.

 — X.J. Kennedy

We have a Pope! An Alexander Pope, I mean. We haven’t seen his like in some time, but as A.M. Juster makes evident in Sleaze & Slander, it hasn’t been for lack of opportunity. Juster would have been right at home beside Pope, Swift, and company in the Scriblerus Club, wittily employing prosodic mastery to skewer fellow poets and the leaders of nations. What fun it is to watch — from a safe distance! 

This is verse with a light touch and a keen edge, whether Juster is bringing Horace into English — where he sounds like a contemporary well-acquainted with the goings-on in the smoke-filled backrooms of Washington, D.C. — or borrowing the persona of Billy Collins, who sounds exactly like the persona of Billy Collins (Is there a real Billy Collins?). 

I should warn the reader, however, that this new Augustan poet is a bit less august than those of the 17th and 18th centuries. Sleaze & Slander is as naughty as a book without pictures can be. Juster’s Martial is a potty mouth, and the Middle Welsh poets he’s uncovered for us hadn’t covered themselves very well in the first place!

 — Alfred Nicol

Sleaze and Slander: A.M. Juster does it again. These are the go-to translations of selected Horace Satires and timeless nastiness from Martial; a sprinkling of epigrams; and let’s not omit the raunchiness from Middle Welsh. But wait, there’s more (which I can’t describe; you have to be there verbatim). He rockets us into the 21st century with his own parodies, limericks, and other forms of the wit peculiar to Mike Juster.

 — Deborah Warren


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A.M. Juster has worked in senior positions, including Commissioner of Social Security, for four Presidents of the United States, and has run three publicly traded biotechnology companies. The Alzheimer’s Association has named him their Humanitarian of the Year, and he has received other major awards for his public service. 

He is the author of four books of poetry translated from Latin and Italian, and he has won the Willis Barnstone Translation Prize for a translation from Middle Welsh. A three-time winner of the Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award, he is also the recipient of the Richard Wilbur Award for an original collection of poetry.

He is a graduate of Yale and Harvard with two honorary degrees.