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In Conversation with Kasey Perkins


From the Lumina blog:

“Due to be released in January of 2019, When the Dead Get Mail is Kasey Perkins’ potent debut poetry collection. Perkins earned her MFA in Poetry from the University of Missouri – St. Louis in 2014 and currently teaches at Washington University in St. Louis. She contributed to LUMINA Volume IX in 2010.

To mark the event of her chapbook’s forthcoming release, LUMINA blog contributor Colleen Ennen connected with her for an engaging conversation about poetry, publishing, cheese, suspicious neighbors, MFAs, and her first chapbook.

When the Dead Get Mail is a forthcoming chapbook from Finishing Line Press. The chapbook is clever and cultured, and much warmer and more human than you might expect to find in poetry which plays in Latin, and dances with Turkish history and the Lotus Sutra. Perkins’ collection keeps its heart beating through pain, and pregnancy, and poverty, and tulips, and childhood, and parenthood, and pork rinds, and politics, and games of darts, and womanhood, and promotional mailers addressed to a dead and absent member of the household. Look for it after the new year.”

Read the full interview here.



Review: When the Dead Get Mail

A full review of WTGM by Christine Frederiksen, a Lindenwood University MFA candidate, appeared in the summer 2018 issue of the Green Hills Literary Lantern:

“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.”

Read the full review here!



Pre-order Now!

Click here to order my new book, When the Dead Get Mail, forthcoming from Finishing Line Press in 2019. The pre-order sales period ends on November 16, 2018.



When the Dead Get Mail, a new collection of poems by Kasey Perkins, explores the past, evoking “images of suffering but does not dwell on regret. She presents somber events of a life from which she seeks to gracefully recover.” The book is a testament to pure, “raw energy,” according to reviewer and writer Christine Frederiksen, writing for The Green Hills Literary Lantern.


Joseph Benevento, author most recently of Expecting Songbirds: Selected Poems: 1983-2015, says that “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.”


“Kasey Perkins is a collider of worlds: the imaginary with reality, compassion with pain, the dead with the living,” writes poet Shane Seely, The Surface of the Lit World, History Here Requires Balboa, and The Snowbound House. “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.”


Finishing Line Press
PO Box 1626
Georgetown, KY 40324