Awards and Reviews


Ruby Irene Poetry Chapbook Contest 2014
Shortlist – Arcadia Magazine
For chapbook, When the Dead Get Mail

Margaret Leong Children’s Poetry Award 2014
First Place
Awarded first prize for poems “Bloodlines,” “For Baby Brother on his Birthday,”
and “Starchild.”

MFA Prize in Poetry 2014
Runner-Up, University of Missouri St. Louis

Hungry Young Poets 2013
Reader – St. Louis, MO




““I don’t read a lot of poetry, but what
really shocked me the most about your
work was that you’re such a sweet person.”

Mary Troy, hilarious woman and author of of Swimming on Highway N, Beauties, and more

“I admire these poems very much, and I felt transported by the imagery. In the true spirit of elegy (most of these poems feel elegiac to me), I felt that each profound loss was answered by the consolations of beauty, and a keen sense of place and identity. Great sensory details and a wide-scoping imagination at work here!”

judge, University of Missouri St. Louis MFA prize in poetry


Praise for When the Dead Get Mail

“Kasey Perkins explores her past in When the Dead Get Mail in a way that evokes images of suffering but does not dwell on regret. She presents somber events of a life from which she seeks to gracefully recover. The audience is allowed the opportunity to absorb the raw energy of a woman coming to terms with her feelings upon receiving mail for a deceased loved one, or looking back on her own neglect as a child. Perkins avails herself of the solitary truth of her past by drawing beauty from pain.”

-Christine Frederiksen in the Green Hills Literary Lantern (click here for the full review)

“Kasey Perkins is a collider of worlds: the imaginary with reality, compassion with pain, the dead with the living. These collisions result in new amalgams, new elements, new realities in which past and present, love and pain, real and unreal intermingle. These are poems of the yearning heart, poems of what is and what might be, poems that teach us how to cope in the face of loss and want and change. These poems invite us to see the world, and all that we need from it, again, anew.”

Shane Seely, author of The Surface of the Lit World, History Here Requires Balboa, and The Snowbound House

“It’s not that unusual to find a poetry chapbook trusting the reader will accept phrases in Latin, the Lotus Sutra or Eliot’s “The Wasteland,” among its educated reference points, but it is much rarer to find such allusions embedded in poems recounting an underprivileged, deeply anti-intellectual upbringing, or an adolescence complicated by a pregnant friend regretting her meth use, or a younger brother undone by his parents’ neglect. When the Dead Get Mail speaks with   heartbreaking authenticity about such lives, though the power of Kasey Perkins’ lyricism never seeks out the reader’s pity. Rather than trying to ignore or exploit her difficult past, Perkins acknowledges it as an incorrigible older relative, a blood relation who can be eluded but never denied. Late in the collection there are happier times and topics, though even the simple building of a snowman delivers a metaphoric vision of Perkins’ path: “He has to have a strong/core before you/can wrap him in snow skin.” With honesty, with humor, with considerable poetic talent, Perkins’ When the Dead Get Mail never considers settling for survival, even as it shares with us its power to transcend.”

–Joe Benevento, author of Expecting Songbirds: Selected Poems: 1983-2015, Tough Guys Don’t Write, and many more