front cover of Collected Shorter Poems
Collected Shorter Poems
John Peck
Northwestern University Press, 2004
A selection of poems by a contemporary master

John Peck's poems draw on both modernist and traditional resources, quarrying in the large gaps among contemporary readers of poetry. This definitive collection makes available difficult-to-find works by a remarkable, thoroughly original American poet. Peck's poems continue to attract a discerning, loyal audience of readers up to the challenge of confronting his astonishing range and ambitions.

front cover of Contradance
John Peck
University of Chicago Press, 2011
In a country where much of the prominent poetry seeks to affirm the fleeting present and its changing values, John Peck’s poetry comes as an important, if unlikely, gift. Peck’s verse deals the cards of the fragmentary, ideogramic, juxtapositional, and elliptical through the deck of normally discursive syntax. Echoing late high Modernism, Peck’s work, in the words of novelist Joseph McElroy, is “a way of seeing things,” confident “in the packed vividness of the referential.” Avoiding the narrow identity- or group-specific viewpoint of some of his contemporaries, Peck invites us to enter the larger humanscape and unearth with him unnoticed connections to our shared past and to one another. In Contradance, his ninth collection, Peck’s passion for inquiry and historical reflection has never been stronger or more beautifully embodied. 

front cover of Red Strawberry Leaf
Red Strawberry Leaf
Selected Poems, 1994-2001
John Peck
University of Chicago Press, 2005
The poems in Red Strawberry Leaf speak in a voice unique in American letters, moving effortlessly beyond arbitrary city limits and national borders, transcending trends, continents, and eras to connect individual states of mind to the whole of Western culture. Written over seven years, Red Strawberry Leaf meditates on the spirit's engagement with the world in an allusive, personal style, in which neither the personal nor the tribal holds pride of place. Scattered touches of apocalypse and dark collective inventories serve only to highlight moments of burnished, lyric brilliance. These challenging poems will reward readers many times over.

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