The Pillow Book
of Carol Tinker


by Carol Tinker

Foreword by Kenneth Rexroth
ISBN 0-932274-08-0
first edition 1980
105 PAGES. 5½" x 8½"

Kenneth Rexroth writes in his foreword: “Critics somehow seem to have ignored the remarkable fact that, at the peaks and turning points of American poetry, at least since the death of Whitman, there has usually stood a woman . . . but few people, even the most passionate feminists, seem to have noticed it.”

From the Book

A spectacle of cruelty
A stand of cypress burning
The eyelid drops on no mans land
Hot ashes fall below eye level
To form a mold
Of what is seen
The mold that needs the ear to test it
Ringing true
A bell like form
Studded with rocks that fall like
Jewels from their setting
As time collapses

About the Book

The Pillow Book of Carol Tinker is one of the most distinguished poetry collections of this year. She has a very original voice, and this collection is both powerful and moving.

— James Laughlin

This sure new collection advances Carol Tinker to an even higher place among American poets.

— Ann Stanford

In Carol Tinker's poems I hear the echoes of the music of Pure Silk Girl. They are complicated, subtle, and rich, touching many chords.

— Ling Chung

Carol Tinker's poems arise out of an extreme contemplative sensibility that can give and take with the world and the mind and the contents of both. . . . Politically outraged, contemplative, erotic, at times humorous—these are the significant themes we want celebrated again and again.

— Doren Robbins


Tinker is a nimble weaver who can assemble . . . image, reference, quotation, narrative fragments and snatches of dialogue into a shimmering yet consistent whole. This process of perception governs both the making of her work and our apprehension of it.

— Peter Clothier


My favorite book on Cadmus's outstanding list is The Pillow Book of Carol Tinker, comprising forceful, exact, completely engaging poems by a hugely skilled author previously unknown to me. The book is introduced by Tinker's husband . . . the poet Kenneth Rexroth, whose work, ideas, and personality were crucial to the “San Francisco Renaissance” . . .

— Mary Biggs

CHOICE, September 1985