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.