Cummiskey Alley

TITLE: Cummiskey Alley: New And Selected Lowell Poems


THE AUTHOR: Tom Sexton.

THE EDITOR: Paul Marion.

THE PUBLISHER: Loom Press is a small independent publisher located in Lowell and Amesbury, Massachusetts. It publishes mostly Massachusetts writers and releases about a dozen books a year.

SUMMARY: Cummiskey Alley is one part history and one part memoir — how my family’s history is interwoven with that of the city.  In a sense it’s a story about the Lowell Irish. The book begins with a poem set in 1832 and ends with a poem about how the city has changed.

THE BACK STORY: I’ve always wanted to put together a collection about Lowell. I’m over eighty, and I’ve been publishing poems in this collection for fifty years. Revising as I go.

Cummiskey Alley: New and Selected Lowell Poems

WHY THIS TITLE: Hugh Cummiskey led a group of Irish laborers from Cambridge to Lowell to dig the canals that made Lowell famous. The small alley that bears his name connects two streets. Few know who he was.

WHY WOULD SOMEONE WANT TO READ IT? Why would someone not want to read it?


Here’s one from the back of the book — “Tom Sexton is an atavistic atavar of how to look hard and write simply.”  — The New York Times.

And … “Most of all, Sexton’s poetry connects Lowell’s dots, from the bustling mill town, to the ethnic melting pot, tightly-knit community, historic city and rich urban landscape. Each poem unveils something new, and at times breathtaking” — Merrimack Valley Magazine.

AUTHOR PROFILE: I’m known mostly for my Alaskan poems. I’ve lived in Anchorage for more than fifty years, and I was Alaska’s poet laureate at one time. I’ve published fourteen books including chapbooks. But Cummiskey Alley is closet to my heart. My one book I want people to read.

HOW TO BUY IT: You can buy it directly from Loom Press or from Amazon. The price is twenty dollars. 143 pages.



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Recently retired after 35 years with the News & Advance newspaper in Lynchburg, VA, now re-inventing myself as a novelist/nonfiction writer and writing coach in Lake George, NY.

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