Pirate's Alley Faulkner SocietyWords & Music


Who We Are

            The Society   




What We Do


Juleps in June

Words & Music

W&M Faculty:
Authors, Scholars,
Visual Artists, Performers

W&M Faculty:
Agents & Editors

W&M Full Schedule

Schedule At A Glance

W&M Pricing

W&M 2012: Good
Books For Homework

Little Literary Gems
For Writers

Book Order Form

Krewe of Libris

The Double Dealer




The Faulkner Society's 2012

A Lesson Before Dying

Is Presented with a Grant From

National Endowment for the Arts


Arts Midwest


Institute of Museum and Library Services

Our Special Thanks to BIG READ Partners:

The State Library of Louisiana
The Louisiana State Museum
Jefferson Parish Public Library
New Orleans Public Library
The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra
The University of New Orleans
Tulane Univeristy
Loyola University
The Guardians of the Flame/Guardians Institute
The Roots of Music
The New Orleans Musicians Assistance Foundation

The Pabst Brewing Company
Is A Host
Words & Music, 2012 Entertainment Events

These programs aresupported by a grant from
The Louisiana Division of the Arts,
Office of Cultural
Department of Culture, Recreation & Tourism
In cooperation with the
Louisiana State Arts Council




Peter Cooley

Winner of Faulkner Society's

2012 Gold Medal for Poetry



Author of The Recent Collection

Divine Margins


Peter Cooley is Professor of English and Director of Creative Writing at Tulane. He has a B.A. in Humanities from Shimer College, an M.A. in Art and Literature from The University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in Modern Letters from The University of Iowa, where he was a student in the Writers’ Workshop. His eight books of poetry are The Company of Strangers, The Room Where Summer Ends, Nightseasons, The Van Gogh Notebook, The Astonished Hours, Sacred Conversations, A Place Made of Starlight. Carnegie Mellon, his publisher, released his newest volume Divine Margins, in 2009 and will release his next, Night Bus to the Afterlife, in 2013.

Peter’s poems have appeared in such magazines as The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Poetry, The Nation, The New Republic and in over one hundred anthologies including most recently The Best American Poetry  2002, The Manthology, Poets on Place and  Poetry Daily: 366 Poems from the World’s Most Popular Poetry Website. From 1970-2000 he was  Poetry Editor of  The North American Review and has recently been appointed Poetry Editor of Christianity and Literature.

His particular interests are creative writing, poetics and contemporary literature. In addition to workshops in creative writing, he has taught Surrealism in Contemporary Poetry, Confessional Poets and Poetics for Poets.
Peter has given recent poetry readings of his own work on the Ohio Poetry Circuit, in Spain and France, in New Zealand, where he was the U.S. Representative to the International Poetry Festival, in the Czech Republic, and in Cape Town, South Africa. He received the Inspirational Professor Award in 2001 and the Newcomb Professor of the Year Award in 2003.

Having received an ATLAS grant from the state of Louisiana, he is currently at work on a new book Aftermaths about Louisiana after Katrina and the oil spill.                                                                                                  




Peter Cooley’s latest book, Divine Margins, is a series of heartfelt ruminations during and following the year his parents died. At times, the book reads as a collection of aubades, where each morning provides the terrible and wonderful chance to conjure up the luminous memories of the past, and where the morning light is the liminal space in which the dead still populate the memories of the living. As the author says to his mother:

Mother, your voice: there is no word for how it wounds me.
It comes back as that silence you picked up the phone with always,
hesitant, plangent, dawn lifting back the night.
Mother, your voice, I only have it at first light.

—Andrea Janelle Dickens, The Journal, Carnegie Mellon


Read Susan Larson's excellent interview with Peter about Divine Margins and his work in general at NOLA.com.


Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society
624 Pirate’s Alley, New Orleans, LA 70116
phone: (504) 586-1609 or (504) 525-5615
fax: (504) 522-9725
Join Our E-News List