Thomas Merritt Publishes Book of Poems

Northwest Arkansas writer Thomas Merritt has published a book of poems called Some Words.

Because Merritt is a graphic artist as well as a writer, his book is designed as a work of art as well as a collection of poems.

The poems are short, each contained on one page. For most, the facing page contains a relevant image. For example, the photo of a hand-lettered cassette tape appears opposite the poem titled “My Life in Rewind.” In the limited edition, some of the facing pages are embellished by a stamped image in red ink.

Interior pages
Interior pages

The poems in Some Words are not what readers of my generation think of when we hear the word “poetry.” They progress in narrow lines down the page in fragments that reflect the disconnected way in which we think in our recollections and first impressions. Merritt plays with the words, sometimes stretching them out with spaces, sometimes separating each letter in a word with periods or parentheses. The technique causes the reader to question everything and to reread in search of elusive meanings.

Much of the content of Some Words is drawn from Merritt’s year of traveling across the country:

mother earth
father pavement
sister time
brother rhyme

i have been
coast to coast
and back again

traveling
living
surviving
striving
(all)
in less than
a year’s
calendar –from “mother (ocean),” Some Words by Thomas Merritt

Some Words, order page

Published
Categorized as Meetings

By Maeve Maddox

Maeve Maddox writes about popular culture, English usage, and education. Her most recent books are WORD RAGE, a guide to peaceful coexistence as American English-speakers, and THE FABERGE FLUTE, a cozy mystery set in 1980s London.

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