Man on Extremely Small Island

Man on Extremely Small Island Cover.jpg
Man on Extremely Small Island Cover.jpg
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Man on Extremely Small Island


Signed first-edition softcover
C&R Press, 2009

Winner of the De Novo Poetry Prize

Winner of the Asian American Writers' Workshop Members' Choice Award

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Jason Koo's Man on Extremely Small Island is an absurdly funny meditation on loneliness, desire and the silences between us. By turns mythic and pop, Koo's poems explore the anger, betrayal and compromises of young love, as well as the complexities of communication within families. Man on Extremely Small Island is a self-effacing look at anguish, an expansive and inclusive debut.

Denise Duhamel

Despite the voluminosity of these poems, they celebrate and capture the spirit of inner malaise that permeates modernity, all over our towns, cities and small islands. There, in the language, and in the languorous, frustrating rhythms is a portrait of our being that strikes me as original and ritualistic. This is exciting writing that will make its mark.

Major Jackson

The poems in this book are haunted by love. Koo writes plaintively, honestly, persuasively about his experiences and the dimensions of longing. His work is also socially astute, incorporating references to both "high" and "low" culture to convey the weave of information and experience that shapes how we connect to the world. In that respect, the poems expand beyond the personal into a larger examination of desire. As Koo writes, "This is for the romantics, / the ones who install themselves in diners at night, / hogging the booths with their books, / hunched over the moonlight / of pages." I find his vision expansive and humane.

Bob Hicok