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W&M 2012: Good
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The Faulkner Society's 2012
A Lesson Before Dying
Is Presented with a Grant From
National Endowment for the Arts
Institute of Museum and Library Services
Our Special Thanks to BIG READ Partners:
The State Library of Louisiana
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Jefferson Parish Public Library
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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
Winner of Faulkner Society's
2012 Gold Medal for Poetry
Author of The Recent Collection
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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.
REVIEW, DIVINE MARGINS
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.