Man on Extremely Small Island, by Jason Koo

  • Jason Koo
  • Man-Island-Jason-Koo
Man on Extremely Small Island
by Jason Koo

Pub Date: October 1, 2020
108 Pages

New Edition
Pbk ISBN-13:

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“Jason Koo’s Man on Extremely Small Island is an absurdly funny meditation on loneliness, desire and the silences between us. By turns mythic and pop, Koo’s poems explore the anger, betrayal and compromises of young love, as well as the complexities of communication within families. Man on Extremely Small Island is a self-effacing look at anguish, an expansive and inclusive debut.”

Denise Duhamel

“Despite the voluminosity of these poems, they celebrate and capture the spirit of inner malaise that permeates modernity, all over our towns, cities and small islands. There, in the language, and in the languorous, frustrating rhythms is a portrait of our being that strikes me as original and ritualistic. This is exciting writing that will make its mark.”

Major Jackson

“The poems in this book are haunted by love. Koo writes plaintively, honestly, persuasively about his experiences and the dimensions of longing. His work is also socially astute, incorporating references to both “high” and “low” culture to convey the weave of information and experience that shapes how we connect to the world. In that respect, the poems expand beyond the personal into a larger examination of desire. As Koo writes, “This is for the romantics, / the ones who install themselves in diners at night, / hogging the booths with their books, / hunched over the moonlight / of pages.” I find his vision expansive and humane.”

Bob Hicok

CUNY reading: “Jason Koo will read from and discuss his debut poetry collection, Man on Extremely Small Island, winner of the 2008 De Novo Poetry Prize and a Finalist for the National Poetry Series, the Kathryn A. Morton Prize, and the Ohio State University Press/The Journal Award in Poetry. He will answer questions and sign books afterward.”

Lantern Review interview: “In our Process Profiles series, young contemporary Asian American poets discuss their craft, focusing on their process for a single poem from inception to publication.”

Jet Fuel Review interview: “This interview with Jason Koo about his collection Man on Extremely Small Island was conducted during the summer of 2010 by the following poets: Wendy Burtt, Cory Phare, Robert Petrick, Robyn Sablosky, Claire Potter, Sean Thomas and John Rossiter.”

Gently Read Literature review: “Jason Koo loves America. I don’t mean to suggest by this claim that he is a shameless, flag-waving, Tea-Party-attending patriot. Rather, I intend something more in the vein of Walt Whitman: Koo loves the coarseness and vitality of American speech, the muscular energy of its cities, and, yes, the great loneliness and isolation America can sometimes inspire in the open spaces of the Midwest and in the alone-in-the-crowd feeling of its urban centers. Like Whitman, too, the voluminous poems in Koo’s debut collection Man on Extremely Small Island…manage to encompass—along with many other things—the sense of the time and place in which the poet lives, what it looks and feels like to be an American after the turn of the millennium.”

Named one of the “100 Most Influential People in Brooklyn Culture” by Brooklyn Magazine, Jason Koo is the author of the poetry collections More Than Mere Light, America’s Favorite Poem and Man on Extremely Small Island. Coeditor of the Brooklyn Poets Anthology, he has published his poetry and prose in the American Scholar, Missouri Review, Village Voice and Yale Review, among other places, and won fellowships for his work from the National Endowment for the Arts, Vermont Studio Center and New York State Writers Institute. An associate teaching professor of English at Quinnipiac University, Koo is the founder and executive director of Brooklyn Poets and creator of the Bridge ( He lives in Brooklyn.