‘101 Two-Letter Words’ inspired by the board game’s obscure short words

The Magnetic Fields singer Stephin Merritt has written a book of poems based on obscure two-letter words used to gain high scores in ‘Scrabble’.

To be published by WW Norton & Co in the UK in June and the US in October, ‘101 Two-Letter Words’ is illustrated by cartoonist Roz Chast. Each poem is four lines long.

“My mother is a former English teacher who always expected me to write the Great American Novel,” Merritt told The New York Times. “So she was not impressed that my first book is going to be amusing light verse.” He added that his mother is now “hooked” on smartphone app ‘Words With Friends’.

In 2013, Merritt met his father, folk singer Scott Fagan, for the first time. Fagan had planned to record an album of covers of Merritt’s songs, but abandoned the project in February after his Kickstarter campaign was unsuccessful, achieving only $3,565 of Fagan’s planned $8,000 goal.