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ISBN: 978-1-62557-834-1
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Categories Poetry

Playing Poker with Tennessee Wiliams

Publication Date: March 2021


If you haven’t already, you’ll fall in love with Pilkington’s voice when you read “Pomegranate,” the first poem in this new, crazy-wonderful collection. Vivid detail wound with delicious humor augmented by the elegant, quiet, remarkable imagery of his closure. There’s a comfortable, highly-intelligent oddness on these pages, page after page of consciousness-changing images, and moments of such vulnerability that you’ll forget you’re reading and find you want to reach out and comfort the speaker. I couldn’t put this book down. I went from poem to poem feeling my jaw dropping successively lower as I progressed. Buy this book – it’ll repay you with so many marvelings you’ll go right back to the first page when you finish the last. This is brilliant work.

–Renée Ashley

Kevin Pilkington’s poems are first order charming. Playing Poker With Tennessee Williams is sweet as a Mint Julep and as strong as the best Southern Comfort. Pilkington invokes the Gods and they answer with kindness and hope.

-Michael Dennis

I have been reading Kevin Pilkington’s marvelous poems with delight and admiration for over three decades. Pilkington is one of those poets whose memorable phrasings and turns of thought travel from the streets of New York City to come to lodge in this reader’s brain. He is a keen observer always on the edge of the man-made and natural worlds with his quietly arresting images and imagination: “I wanted the tree to play one/of those old standards by Mercer/or Van Heusen, something soft with/ a melody that sounds like a bandage.” He is also a poet of great heart. And human dignity. Playing Poker With Tennessee Williams is a must-read by a poet at the height of his powers.

-Stuart Dischell

What interests me most about Kevin Pilkington’s work is its range of content and tone. He can be serious and humorous with equal skill, and often in the same poem. His subject matters are human sexuality, human frailty, and post-modern life with all its joys and vicissitudes.

-Okla Elliott

About the Author

Kevin Pilkington

Kevin Pilkington is a member of the writing faculty at Sarah Lawrence College. He is the author of six collections: Spare Change was the La Jolla Poets Press National Book Award winner; Ready to Eat the Sky was a finalist for an Independent Publishers Books Award; In the Eyes of a Dog won the 2011 New York Book Festival Award; The Unemployed Man Who Became a Tree was a Milt Kessler Poetry Book Award finalist. His poetry has appeared in many anthologies including: Birthday Poems: A Celebration, Western Wind, and Contemporary Poetry of New England. Over the years, he has been nominated for four Pushcarts. His poems have appeared in numerous magazines including: The Harvard Review, Poetry, Ploughshares, Iowa Review, Boston Review, Yankee, Hayden’s Ferry, Columbia, North American Review, etc. He has taught and lectured at numerous colleges and universities including The New School, Manhattanville College, MIT, University of Michigan, Susquehanna University, Saint Vincent College. His debut novel Summer Shares was published in 2012 and a paperback edition was reissued in summer 2014. He recently completed a second novel and is working on a new collection of poems.

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