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Instant Messages
Instant Messages

Instant Messages


87 Pages, 5.25 x 8.25

Formats: Cloth, EPUB, Mobipocket

Cloth, $17.95 (US $17.95) (CA $23.95)

Publication Date: October 2016

ISBN 9780997699104

Rights: US & CA

The Print Project (Oct 2016)
Print Project


eBook Editions Available

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Instant Messages is a new kind of writing, a mash-up of straightforward and accessible poetry, koan-like brain teasers, the delicate observations of Haiku, the terseness of texts, surprise one-liners, daily mumbling, text-based art, and aphorisms of penetrating insight. By turns clever and witty, or deep and spiritual, this is not work that attempts to find universals in personal experience, but instead pressurizes life that's common to all of us in language that is perfectly precise. Individuality is revealed as a quality of attention on the life that we all share. The "messages" appear on the page as comments that come from the inner voice and are intended for the inner ear. Everything is fair game, everything belongs here, from digital VCRs to tracks in the snow, to needles in the arm, to unidentifiable movements at the bottom of a lake, to the question of ghosts. In its inclusiveness of culture high and low, and the license and quirky originality of its language, Instant Messages has achieved a form for the 21st century.


"Falls somewhere between the Zen koan and R.D. Laing's Knots . . . . Bite-sized wisdom on an invisible stick." —Billy Collins, US Poet Laureate 2001–2003, Mark Twain Award, Norman Mailer Prize  

"You've discovered a fresh literary form: akin to epigram, haiku, epitaph, and one-liner, but not exactly the same. The best are wonderful, surprising, often profound. Some of them gain from the rhymes that click them shut, but as you demonstrate, many of those in freer forms are quite as fine. The odd illustrations did draw me in, almost hypnotically, and made me daydream." —XJ Kennedy, poetry editor, The Paris Review; Lamont Award, Jackson Poetry Prize, Robert Frost Medal  

"Of the numerous joys that have come our way, the greatest pleasure has always been surprise—finding something completely unexpected, something that invites us to reconsider the boundaries of poetry. Instant Messages is more like walking through a gallery show, experiencing—what? Poems, yes . . . aperçus, that too . . . fragments of interior monologue, yes . . . text-and-image, yes . . . and, yes, wise and often humorous instant messages; but with each artifact resisting isolated consideration, demanding rather that it be experienced as a part of the whole, and with that whole beckoning you to begin again." —Don Selby, editor and publisher, Poetry Daily—

Author Biography

lowellgm lives and works in upstate New York.