"Jim Reese ... He's our Mark Twain of this century ... Jim writes about the everyday experience, and he, in my view, is therefore America's poet."
—Grace Cavalieri, from the Poet and the Poem at the Library of Congress
"We call it the heartland but we seldom drop by for a visit. Jim Reese catches the dying fire of the small town wasteland that staggers on with meth, desire, and neglect. These loving poems open the door to the real little house on the prairie. Time to step inside and finally have one honest moment with the forgotten center of our people."
— Charles Bowden, author of Murder City: Ciudad Juarez and the Global Economy's New Killing Fields
Everything about Really Happy, Jim Reese's third full-length collection of poetry, is ordinary - focused on life all around us. But out of this ordinary the humanity of each of his characters comes to life, each craftily spun by Reese in perfect Midwestern tone and tenor, making these saints and sinners feel like family members. This familiarity, this elevation that Reese creates, making the ordinary extraordinary, will leave the reader feeling right at home, and Really Happy.
"Though the settings of Jim Reese's poems - late night diners, bowling alleys, prisons - can be tough, unremitting, and bleak, he treats his subjects with a tender depth and humor that makes me want to be right there with him. In fact, so vividly drawn are these sharp-eyed portraits of life in the hardscrabble country of the Dakotas that I do feel like I'm with him. In Really Happy, Reese is an eloquent tour guide, a smart, soft-hearted, wise-cracking Virgil in a land of lonely miles and piercing beauty." - George Bilgere, author of ImperialMore Details »
New York Quarterly Books 2010 Jim Reese's newest collection, ghost on 3rd is riddled with love, latent violence, humor, and prison life. Critics who said… Read More
Contemporary South Dakota Poetry Edited by Patrick Hicks For the very first time, some of South Dakota's best poets have been gathered together into one… Read More
Jim Reese is one of five artists-in-residence throughout the country who are part of the Arts Endowment’s interagency initiative with Department of Justice’s Federal Bureau… Read More