THIS IS FIFTY-THREE is Kevin J. O’Conner’s seventh collection of poems—and his most ambitious to date. This is not your typical poetry collection; it is an exploration of living with uncertainty at a time when we’d expect most of life’s big questions to have been already answered.
It is also an exploration of form and craft.
"In my poems, I have continued to try out different forms and styles in order to stretch myself as a writer. As for the visuals, my previous books used images to mark the boundaries between sections; here, they are an integral part of the whole, whether complementing the text or providing a counterpoint—or stirring things up. The result, for better or worse, is an honest portrayal of me at age fifty-three."
—Kevin J. O'Conner, August 2016
THIS IS FIFTY-THREE is divided into sections, plus a prelude and postlude:
Poems written using established forms—in this case tritina, pantoum, terzanelle, viator, rhyming couplets, lune, landay, haiku, and rimas dissolutas.
Experimental poems, poems based on dreams, poems based on prompts, poems given unusual graphic or typographic treatment, and unusual or unexpected graphics.
Secrets (and Other Secrets)
Private moments, secrets, unspoken thoughts.
Small moments and fragility.
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|Publisher:||Kevin J. O'Conner|
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About the Author
Kevin J. O’Conner (56) is not your typical poet. After 30 years of writing only sporadically, Kevin J. O’Conner returned to poetry in 2013—first as a creative exercise, then for the therapeutic benefits. Since 2015, he writes every day, exploring the craft of poetry through monthly writing challenges—‘my ongoing effort to write something that doesn’t sound like something I would write’, he says. Kevin’s poems explore isolation, memory, life’s small moments, and the experience of starting over at ‘a certain age’—always with an emphasis on straightforward expression. As of Spring 2019, Kevin has published eleven collections of poems, the latest of which is WISHES SOMETIMES HAVE CONSEQUENCES, plus four volumes of ‘love notes’ to the days of the week. His poems have also appeared in Raven Chronicles, Spindrift, The CDC Poetry Project, Lament for the Dead, and the anthology VOICES THAT MATTER, and as part of the Clay? VI (2016) exhibit at Kirkland Arts Center. When not writing poetry, Kevin can be found copy-editing documents from far-flung places, attending open-mic readings, designing books, and contemplating what to cook now that he is tired of soup. He lives in Bellingham with his mom's neurotic cat, Cleo III. (updated 28 October 2019)