“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
Ride shotgun down the back-roads of the Great Plains as Reese becomes Willy the Wildcat at a small Division II school, drives a tractor into an outbuilding his first week on the job, and discovers, sometimes with horror, the truth - after immersing himself in the lives of strangers, friends and prisoners. Travel to San Quentin prison in San Francisco Bay where he has full access and isn’t afraid to ask the tough questions. Join him in a superstore pharmacy prophylactic aisle. Explore teenage angst and desire with him at a Midwest skating rink. Accompany him as he archives his mother-in-law's peculiarities, often verbatim.
"Jim Reese's new book is what we might think of as ‘an evening's entertainment,’ and it's an enriching entertainment at that, witty and funny, shadowed by feelings deeper and more meaningful, a kind of operetta in prose, and it will stick with me for a good long while. I recommend it."
—Ted Kooser, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, 13th Poet Laureate of the United States
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… Read More
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