ECKLEBURG BOOK CLUB | Don Dreams and I Dream by Leah Umansky


umanskyDon Dreams and I Dream, Leah Umansky’s Mad Men Inspired chapbook both celebrates and transcends its subject, the iconic  Mad Men television series. Umansky gives us a scathing dissection of American advertising, pop culture, and gender.

Don Dreams and I Dream is compulsively readable, but it is far from a light collection of poems. Most hold the weight of women’s struggles for recognition as human beings over much of the past century. The poems are at once political and confessional, feisty and giddy, aggressive and playfully submissive. The poems are nothing if not sexy, and sensuality is key to their power.” (Amy Silbergeld, HTML GIANT)

 “Don Dreams and I Dream, attacks this pressure-point relentlessly, it is an uncomfortable and impressive read. I laughed and felt guilty for laughing, I was sad without being entirely sure who for, and, above all else, I felt horribly implicated in its central conflicts.  Umansky [has] the artistic bravery to shoot for big game and the artistic skill to hit the target.” (Keiran Goddard, Sabotage Reviews)

 “Simply, I have never encountered writing by Umansky that I did not carry inside of me long after the read.” (David Blumenshine, The Outlet- blog of Electric Literature)


Book Information

Publisher: Kattywompus Press

Price: $12.00 US

Pages: 24

ISBN-13: 9781936715626

On Sale Date: 03/01/2014




In My Next Life, I Want to Be an Ad Man


I want to be donned  in somehow. Donned in  everything. Donned in the forgotten and the ecclesiastics of sex. Drape me in the charged. Drape me in the raptured.  Drape me in meaning and keep it private. I want two lives: one in the city and one in the country.  Two women: a blonde and a redhead. Drape me in wealth. Drape me in booze. Don me in diamonds and fur. Drape a secretary, here, and then, there..


                       [Executive is the word that comes to the lips and they smile for you, sister.]


Don me in designer suits. Don me in a new age.  Don me in what’s coming.  Drape the future round my shoulders.  Drape the next life across my lap.  Drape me in the madness.  Don me in the twoness of passion.  Don me in pieces of last, of force; pieces of shaken and possible then drape me in manhood.   Drape me in machinery and steel. Don me in  utterly  and plush utterings and,  [do I sound like I’m stuttering?,]  Make me look good; the world is dangerous.


Discussion Questions

1.  In what ways does pop culture inform our thinking? Our art? Our reference points?

2.  If you could ask Don one question, what would it be?  Joan? Peggy?

3. In what ways do you see the jargon of the advertising world in DDAID?

4. How has time changed our view of men and women in the workplace in the world of Mad Men and in today’s society?

5. In what ways are all of us artists just salespeople?



leahLeah Umansky is a poet, teacher and collagist living in New York City. She is the author of Don Dreams and I Dream, a new collection of poems inspired by the legendary television drama, Mad Men, (Kattywompus Press, 2014), and the full-length collection, Domestic Uncertainties (BlazeVOX, 2013).  She is the curator and host of the COUPLET Reading Series in NYC, and writes for Tin House and Luna Luna Magazine among others publications. Her poems can be seen in such places as POETRY Magazine, The Poetry Review, and The Brooklyn Rail.  Flavorwire named her #7 of 23 People Who Will Make You Care About Poetry in 2013. She is in love with Don Draper and anything Game of Thrones related. Follow her at: @Lady_Bronte. www.



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Eckleburg is a print and online literary journal that offers original fiction, poetry, essays, music, art, writing workshops and more.