Tom Sawyer by Joseph Grantham


ISBN: 978-1-948700-10-8
124 pages
Release Date: September 10, 2018
Civil Coping Mechanisms

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Written while working at a bookstore in lower Manhattan, TOM SAWYER is a book of poems about heartbreak, depression, family, role models and heroes, and growing up in America.

It is as if you approached Joseph Grantham while he was sleeping & nudged him & he rolled over half asleep & told you about all of the things that embarrass him, all of the people he loves, & all of the things that make him who he is.

It’s like a package of candy cigarettes or the Candide of the 21st century.


If you buy this book, your money will go to a nice guy with a mustache. Which is a lot better than spending your money on coffee or whatever. Anyways, it’s good poetry. Love, Mira.

Mira Gonzalez, author of i will never be beautiful enough to make us beautiful together

In TOM SAWYER, Joseph Grantham is pulling it all back and stripping the language clean. These are poems about broken hearts and growing up, packed full of jokes and weirdo thoughts from a weirdo mind. When I think about Joseph Grantham, I think, ‘Ah…finally…the last living person who doesn’t judge or shout for a living.’ What sweet poems, from a sweet sweet man.

—Scott McClanahan, author of The Sarah Book

I read Joseph Grantham’s TOM SAWYER on a Greyhound bus after a scant two hours of sleep while under the influence of a vicious hangover. And these poems still had the power to make me smile and giggle like a maniac. What more do you want from a book? If you don’t buy TOM SAWYER I will come to your house and kill your entire family (by the way, Joseph Grantham hates people who say that).

Steve Anwyll, author of Welfare

Under the humor of the poems in TOM SAWYER there’s sad music only people with thoughtful lives will hear.

—Timothy Willis Sanders, author of Matt Meets Vik

Life is sad and Joseph Grantham is sad and no one needs another book of sad poetry but TOM SAWYER made me laugh out loud and referenced Camper Van Beethoven and Philip K Dick and peanut butter toast. Also there were poems for Bud Smith and Scott McClanahan and Charles Bukowski, and poems for Jersey City and centaurs and some guy named Tony, ‘who never existed.’ I kept waiting for there to be a poem for me. I guess I’m always waiting.

Elizabeth Ellen, author of Person/a and Elizabeth Ellen

Joseph Grantham is a man of slightly above-average intelligence, and he is not afraid to put it down.

Brad Listi, host of the Otherppl Podcast

JOSEPH GRANTHAM was born in Kansas City, Missouri. He grew up in California. He read books for awhile and wrote bad stories and poems and went to school. Not much happened. He lost his virginity when he was 18. He got his BA from Bennington College. He still reads books and writes. He runs Disorder Press with his sister.