Tom Beckett is internationally known for his work as an editor, publisher, poet and interviewer. In the 1980s, his journal The Difficulties was instrumental in the promotion of Language Poetry. Unprotected Texts, his Selected Poems, was published by Meritage Press in 2006. More recently Otoliths published three volumes of E-X-C-H-A-N-G-E-V-A-L-U-E-S interviews curated by Beckett, and a collection of 4 long poems called Parts and Other Pieces.
Praise for other books by Tom Beckett
Parts and Other Pieces
“The difficulties that language presents have their analogues in life. Whether posed, or proposed, or just tenuously poised on the thin line that divides articulation from understanding, the phrases and phrasings of Tom Beckett’s elegant and nervous Parts and Other Pieces challenge the givens of experience. The excitement and the beauty of this four-part book are the product of a mismatch between words and worlds. And it is, indeed, a beautiful and exciting book. Variously witty, angst-ridden, melancholy, sweet, Beckett’s parts provoke a powerful whole.”— Lyn Hejinian
"As a writer," we read in an interview with Tom Beckett, "it can be more important to pay a lot of attention to a few things rather than a little attention to a lot of things." Touché! Beckett's new collection begins with a sequence of questions posed on the Ohio State campus (Goodbye Columbus!) and responds with a series of answers--not quite to the original questions and hence all the more pertinent and mysterious. The connection between A and B is provided by the middle section, "Between Asymmetries," whose maxims written under the sign of Emerson, enact the truth that "Language grids support the inexplicable." The final poem, the minimalist "Parts" provides the "break (brake)" that makes everything that precedes it come together in one radiant whole. —Marjorie Perloff
“For three decades now, Tom Beckett has been writing the most hard-headed, clear-eyed, unsentimental poetry in America. He has the rigor of a master & the mind of a first-rate detective. Long before the internet made it relatively easier for a poet to work from somewhere other than one of the two or three major literary centers, Beckett was writing poems from deep inside Ohio that ring as true—and as clearly—now as when they were first written.” —Ron Silliman