A small book fifty years in the making The Pocket Perkins offers brief writings on Life as a Writer, Walker, Pagan, Poet, Philosopher, Flaneur, Provocateur, Libertarian, and Libertine. As Michael Perkins writes, “To make a perfect sentence is a hard day’s work.”
“Michael Perkins and Francois de La Rochefoucauld will be running the aphorism club in the hereafter.” — Andrei Codrescu, author and NPR commentator
“In this handy volume, the beloved Woodstock poet-novelist-libertine-philosopher-hiker Perkins offers a potent distillation of 50 years of work, packed with pithy excerpts from his memoir, plus criticism, essays, and more, including an introduction by ‘Chronogram’s’ own Nina Shengold. Sprinkled liberally throughout are Perkins exquisitely wrought aphorisms, shining with bracing clarity. The Pocket Perkins can serve as an introduction to a true man of letters, a Greatest Hits, and/or a reminder that literary greatness walks among us.” — Robert Burke Warren, Chronogram
“May God give all who write the chance to have such a perfect testament to one’s talents as the new book being celebrated at the Woodstock Library Forum. The Pocket Perkins, culled from dozens of books and reviews by Michael Perkins, has an elegant format that keeps each singular selection to the confines of a page. These augment the Woodstock walker’s ways with short poems and a host of pithy aphorisms, and allow the joys of his prose to sing as memorable segments that lend themselves to rereading, or reading aloud.” — Paul Smart, Woodstock Times
“The only reason to interrupt your reading of The Pocket Perkins to the last page would be sudden death. The man writes in spectacular colorful words hoisting the English language to places it’s never been. I did not mind dashing to the dictionary at intervals as I was learning new ways of telling the story from this master. It is a literary buffet with practically every word as crunchable as a crisp autumn apple. There is a feast of aphorism, delicious poetry, with humor and irony spiced with life and death. If you do not finish reading this book before you die, there is no grave can block your eager return to get to the last page.”— Malachy McCourt, author of A Monk Swimming.
“Michael Perkins—a living National Treasure of the Woodstock Nation (a.k.a. the Ashokan Republic)—adheres to that old and almost-vanished livelihood known as ‘The Man of Letters,’—all of them, from poetry to pornography. I revere him as one of the very few conscious Neo-Luddites I know, a genuine ‘anarchist tory’ (as Orwell called himself) whose severe critique of modern technopsychosis harmonizes with a stoic-epicurean appreciation of life’s genuine good things—most of which cannot be commodified or down-loaded. A great aphorist in the tradition of Oscar Wilde and F. Nietzsche.” — Peter Lamborn Wilson, author of riverpeople and Ec(o)logues.
“Luminous, pungent, thought-provoking, revelatory aphorisms and short takes from a writer of profound integrity who speaks from his great, great heart. You’ll read it—and read it again and again.” — Patricia Eakins, author of The Hungry Girls and Other Stories and The Marvelous Adventures of Pierre Baptiste