"Comedy is as cathartic, as cleansing, as tragedy. That such poetry should exist at all should fill us with wonder and awe and make us laugh out loud. . . . A little bit of Fink's poetry goes a long way. "Motel / with permanent no- / vacancy scowl: chipped latex." The exactitude of that, corrosive. A benchmark. Measure it against poets who subtract rather than add to the language. It's an ethical imperative for me." –Jonathan Mayhew
"Today after this all-you-can-eat buffet of conventional verse, Fink hit the spot-the standard American rhetoric is in there, and the torquing verges on Bruce Andrewsesque, but it's so cheerful when it comes from Fink, I don't care about anything besides which crazy word he's going to plug into the grid next."–Jordan Davis
“What’s left after taxes usually causes heartburn: so much effort for so little return! But in Thomas Fink’s After Taxes, 'pogo loam' becomes a symbol for a result that “exceeds forecast.” An “impossible swell/persists” –especially admirable in the longer poems—and it is music ever-ascending and all the more rewarding for the craft made visible by extraordinary diction. Fink’s poems discover sounds that had been veiled by contexts and meanings. Thus, 'a vase/ smash rage' and not the other way around as would be assumed by a lackadaisical culture. For as Fink notes, 'There [was] something new/ and learned/ before you read/ the page' and he determined to excavate. The rewards are ours if we recognize what this collection craftily and craft-fully achieves: bypassing the binary of operatic ornamentation or matter-of-fact tones to encompass both, thus effecting a 21st century Song.”–Eileen R. Tabios
“After taxes, when most of us feel fleeced, Thomas Fink opens his secret accounts. The wealth of his world is acoustic, and endless, and available to all. By turns observant and inventive, these poems find the parts of our lives beyond all tithes, turning our obligations and debts into freedom and abundance. No one listens like this poet does, or so shows us the hidden worth of our words.”–Joseph Donahue
On Gossip: A Book of Poems:
“Reading Thomas Fink’s Gossip leaves you giddy and satiated, just like a good 'dirt' session should! Fink collages fractured dialogue, political farce, pop song lyrics, and tabloid tidbits to make his deliberate music and “tactful oomph.” The poems utilizing the crazy and gorgeous “found speech” of a child are pure delight, elevating chitchat to new poetic heights. I, for one, can confirm this rumor: Fink’s Gossip is one amazing read.”—Denise Duhamel
Thomas Fink’s astonishing, subtle poems will delight readers and teach them about rich layers of thinking and storytelling. Fink is writing delightful, important poems. —Joseph Lease
Thomas Fink is author of two previous poetry collections, Surprise Visit, and Gossip: A Book of Poems, as well as two books of literary criticism. His work has been published in American Poetry Review, Talisman, American Book Review, Verse, and elsewhere. His paintings are in private collections.