Peter Davis


Five poems from Poetry! Poetry! Poetry! appeared in The Best American Poetry 2010, edited by Amy Gerstler, series edited by David Lehman.

“Peter Davis is real, and so is his biting, hilarious, earlier book Poetry! Poetry! Poetry! (2010), whose poems (most of them in prose) spelled out the situations, audiences, and practical requirements behind one or another kind of verse: ‘Poem That Begs for Reassurance,’ for example, and ‘Poem Addressing My Contemporaries, Many of Whom I Am Competing Against for Sweet Teaching Positions.'” —Stephanie Burt, Coldfront

“If I were to call this book fresh and innovative, you wouldn’t know if I meant brilliant or weird, but that’s okay since both would be true. Although I’ve read hundreds of books of or about poetry, I can honestly say that I have never read anything like this!” —Mary Harwell Sayler, Rattle

“Passing Professor Davis’s office door yesterday—Professor Davis’s closed office door—I found myself wishing he was on a Fulbright like before, not a MacArthur, so that he would be back among us sooner, casting his brilliant (and humane) light. Because how is our intellectually restless little ivied community to survive without him? This book will help. From a time when he was young, full of hope, teaching in Muncie, it looks us straight in the eye, inviting us to identify with this nubile and insouciant David—before he became the giant that is Peter Davis.” —Mairéad Byrne

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August 2010
Trade Paper Original
ISBN: 978-0-982-65870-3
116 pp. | $16.00



I am very appreciative that you’ve taken the time to read this poem. I hope you like it. Let me know what I can do to improve it. I know that we all have different tastes and different ideas about what comprises good writing. Hopefully, we can agree in this instance. If you have very strong feelings about it, one way or another, you should write a review of the book in which this poem appears. If this poem is being published in a journal and you are unaware that it is also in a book, you should look it up. It is possible it is not yet in a book. You could even try reaching me, or something. You could google me. A review would really be nice. Something formal so that I feel it’s legitimate. I’m actually only half interested in this poem so far, but I’m also feeling a small mania about it. I have reason to believe that I’m very, very good and that you’re leaning closer and closer and closer and that at any particular instant you may kiss me on the cheek.

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Davis, Peter