This Is Fifty-three

IMG_2371                   ART53x-front-cover

This is fifty-three
It’s been that long since the moment
when I first became me

About the book

Here is the ‘official’ description of the book—i.e., the one I put on CreateSpace:

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 or photography book. Instead, it is an exploration, through words and pictures, 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.

As my ‘official’ description obliquely suggests, I am breaking a few rules with this book:

  • I have forsaken the typical poetry book format (5″ x 8.125″, 5.5″ x 8.5″, or 6″ x 9″) for an 8.5″ x 8.5″ page size.
  • I have created two print editions—one full color, the other black-and-white.
  • The full-color edition makes extensive use of photographs and graphics—plus, well, color.
  • In the Oddities section of the book, I use different typefaces for each poem; some poems are themselves subjected to graphical treatments.
  • I have used a photo self-portrait on the cover—not to feed my ego, but to emphasize the personal nature of the work.

Both volumes contain 154 poems written over a nine-month period. The full-color edition adds over 150 photos/graphics created over the last few years (a handful of which also mark the beginning and end of each section in the black-and-white edition). The end result, as indicated more briefly above, is an honest portrayal of me, my preoccupations, and my obsessions—and of the state of my poetry—at age fifty-three.

As with my previous books, this collection 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.

Poems about fragility and little moments.

Purchasing links appear below and in the sidebar.

Why 53?

This book is no. 53 in the cataloguing scheme I have been using since 2004, and I turned 53 in 2016. I thought I should have some fun with this coincidence. To continue the theme, I numbered the Just the Words, Man edition 53x, and the e-book edition 53e; and I set the retail price of the full-color edition to $53.

Purchase from the author—coming soon!

Signed copies will soon be available for purchase directly from Kevin via Square Market and PayPal:

ART 53
FULL-COLOR BOOK ($60, includes shipping, and applicable sales tax for Washington state residents)
(E-mailing ahead of time is recommended, as the manufacturing cost means limited inventory.)
Purchase via Square Market


ART 53x Just the Words, Man
BOOK ($25, includes shipping, and applicable sales tax for Washington state residents)
Purchase via Square Market

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(updated 1 March 2017)