The Backstory

PERSONAL : Steve Henn is the wickedest wit to come out of Warsaw, Indiana since Ambrose Bierce. He writes mostly poems, raises 4 kids, teaches, and has retired from playing barely adequate drums in ersatz basement bands, but his old band Invisible Robots did put out an album called Sunday Beer that can be found online. Plans for world domination and etc. have mostly gone unrealized.

INVISIBLE ROBOTS : Invisible Robots were a folkrock/punk-ish/Americana indie trio Steve played drums and wrote some lyrics for. Their album Sunday Beer is available from CDBaby as a download. Nate White handled guitar, harmonica, and lead vocals, while Steve Hively played bass and contributed backing vocals. They recorded their album via 4 track and a multichannel mixer in Steve Henn's basement, with Steve Hively functioning as producer/sound engineer. Currently defunct, perhaps someday they'll be refunct.


"I am always hoping Stephen Henn will show up to our poetry slams and raise the bar for everyone else reading. His words are biting, irreverent and wildly funny. There are times he goes very deep, to a place so vulnerable that the audience is afraid for him. Steve, however, is fearless, wielding powerful words."
- Janet Bloch, Education Director, Lubeznik Center for the Arts

"Steve Henn is as smart as God and funnier than a stand-up comedian. His poems read like a George Carlin routine as imagined by Tony Hoagland at his best. This is what stand-up poetry is supposed to sound like—hilarious, irreverent, accessible, and humane. Remember this about Steve and his wonderful poems: he's only making fun because he loves us. These poems aren't punches, they're hugs that accidentally knock us out."
- Dave Newman, author of Raymond Carver Will Not Raise Our Children

"If Allen Ginsberg had mated with the creators of South Park, you'd have Steve Henn. Unacknowledged Legislations is a refreshingly readable collection of poetry, chock-full of humor, headiness, and pathos (because all blurbs of poetry books must contain the word "pathos"). For what it's worth, Henn can consider me his fan."
- Nathan Graziano

"Thinking of what to say about Steve Henn's poems, an image came to mind of a chainsaw of tongues, and I found myself scared by my own blurb. But in that image is the energy of this book, the exuberance of a poet who is alternately critical and tender but always driven: driven by play, by honesty, by humor in a way that opens surprising spaces for revelation. More than anything, Henn would speak for those he feels are overlooked & underheard. What he writes in "The Great Corn Detasseling Poem" beautifully articulates this desire: 'a tendril promising nourishment/for all unbelieving ears.' A promise Henn keeps."
- Bob Hicok

"I've been to a lot of poetry readings, and never have I seen a poet anywhere near as in command of his audience from almost the very first line as Steve Henn. It helps that he's funny, sure, but funny will only get you so far. He's also a very smart poet who writes incredibly thoughtful poems about what it means to be human (and flawed and sometimes lonely) that resonate with an audience long after they've stopped laughing. I wish I had a thimbleful of his talent, or his wit, or even his charisma. It hardly seems fair that one dude has so much of all three."
- Clayton T. Michaels, author of Watermark


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