Lessons in Falling

My book of poetry, Lessons in Falling, is out with B House Publications. Purchase copies at your local bookstore or order them directly from this website.

Click here for a list of book stores that carry Lessons in Falling, or if you are a book seller or librarian who would like to carry it.

Click here to read reviews of Lessons in Falling.

Tom Wayman (author of High Speed Through Shoaling Water and Did I Miss Anything?) on Lessons in Falling:

Teachers are the only people willing to stay in school indefinitely. Tyler Perry in these unflinching poems presents a no-holds-barred glimpse at the working life of a contemporary teacher, based on his experiences as an instructor at a Calgary junior high school. Employing several poetic modes including prose-poem, anecdote, ghazal, incantation and more, Perry masterfully allows the reader to share his insider’s insights into the physical settings of hallway and classroom, the high energy swirl of his students, and especially the pain, fear and triumphs generated by the educational process itself.

Perry’s poems transmit a visceral reaction to the teaching world–we share the anguish, guilt and small pleasures of teachers and students as, in the pressure cooker of the mandatory curriculum, each lashes out at the other, and each displays surprising tenderness and appreciation. Searing portraits of kids in trouble, and teachers making hurtful errors as they practice their profession are here, as well as convincing glimpses of the rewards available to everyone involved when, for a moment, a classroom becomes a true place of learning. Above all, Perry’s deft command of metaphor freshens our vision of a world many of us would never want to revisit: here is the teacher as fast-food cook, photocopier as temperamental bully, school gossip as indelible stain, routine as a flood that can drown the school outcast.

These poems are as startling and accomplished as if someone could describe flowers so exactly we can literally smell their delicate aroma. Via Perry’s art, we are the teacher standing before the class, or hunched over a desk marking assignments, or watching the end-of-day press of students hurtle past the rows of lockers toward outside, toward the rest of their lives. Perry’s achievement is singular, effective, moving, and much needed if we believe education is the key to our nation’s, our community’s future.