Somewhere between Sex and the City, Sharon Olds and Spalding Grey lies the poetry of Denise Duhamel, who established herself as a vivacious, sarcastic, uninhibited observer of contemporary culture. Long fascinated by downtown New York, Duhamel got poetic mileage from her once-rough neighborhoods. Throughout the book, each poem is utterly engaging, as hard to abandon as a chapter in a taut thriller and topics that aren't often the subect of bards and poets. Her playful, inventive way of string together ideas is evident. Duhamel writes incisively about serious themes and issues. The clash between high and low art never seems abraisive in Duhamel's work. She writes about Garcia-Lorca's Deli, Georgia O'Keefe's pelvis, a Barbie Doll in a Twelve-Step Program, Barbie as a Bisexual, Barbie's GYN appointment, and the difference between Pepsi and the Pope. Engagingly charts her evolution as a fictionist-from ribald, bemused poems about body parts and coming of age dramas to increasingly sophisticated mock-narratives. Her work is tremendous fun, but often there's an underpinning of sadness in it as well, which keeps the poems from being mere play. Denise Duhamel is a red-headed, red-lipped wild woman, a human and humane poet who isn't afraid to tackle any subject: violence, racism, A.I.D.S., bulimia, childishness, the myth of Bluebeard, the phenomenon of Barbie. Queen for a Day is exuberant, brazen, bold, honest as hell, audaciously unpretentious and outrageously self-referential, a Frank O'Hara meets Lucille Ball meets Sandra Bernhard of a book: sin verguenza! Denise Duhamel's Queen for a Day includes poems from her five previous full-length books (The Star-Spangled Banner, Kinky, Girl Soldier, The Woman with Two Vaginas, and Smile!) as well as her chapbook, How the Sky Fell.