Allan Peterson, Precarious

42 Miles Press

ISBN ‎ 978-0983074748
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by Allan Peterson
paperback, 91 pages


The poems in Precarious are profound and rewarding. Allan Peterson's poetry is truly prismatic, suggesting a complex mind philosophically engaged with a rich world, a world in which we can only come to know our interior selves through interaction with a glimmering, constantly shifting, ungraspable reality. "The brain," he writes, "has a sense of itself / the mind, and the mind / has a sense of itself, the soul / and the soul sees itself / in others...." Witty, filled with intensity of music, image and intelligence, this is Allan Peterson at his very best.
—Kevin Prufer

Allan Peterson is the kind of poet that makes me want to call in sick from the office so I can stay home all day reading his work, he makes me want to shoplift copies of his books to give to friends, he's the kind of poet I would perjure myself for. In short I would lie, steal, and cheat if it meant having Allan Peterson's poetry in the world."
—Matthew Dickman

"Who speaks for the body? We do," says Allan Peterson in this luminous, tumbling collection. In it, he also speaks for the mind, writing into the exploratory spaces where thing connects to idea, where self attaches to other, where line leads to line. The poems in Precarious are hardly likely to topple, but rather they assemble layered evidences of attention, of attending. "The weed field had been / readying its many damp handkerchiefs," writes Peterson, and his poems are also records of the mind's meander, the slipperiness of thought unfurling, as when he explains, "we look at one thing to describe another." In these poems we watch ourselves watching. With Peterson, we find that the common is not alike each time and therefore misnamed, that thought leads to thought, line to line, and that the exceptions are numinous, as we sing our way to the unexplored interior. Precarious is startling, and visionary.
—Tess Taylor

About the Author

Allan Peterson is the author of five books, including Fragile Acts, McSweeney's Poetry Series, a finalist for both the 2013 National Book Critics Circle Award and the Oregon Book Award; As Much As, Salmon Press, Ireland; All the Lavish in Common, 2005 Juniper Prize, University of Massachusetts; Anonymous Or, Defined Providence Prize; and six chapbooks, notably OMNIVORE, winner of the 2009 Boom Prize from Bateau Press; Any Given Moment, Right Hand Pointing online; and Stars on a Wire, University of Alabama's Institute for the Book Arts, 1989. His work was selected by Poet Laureate Ted Kooser for his American Life in Poetry Series (#159) and appears in several anthologies: American Poetry At the End of the Millennium, Poetry of the American Apocalypse, (Green Mountains Review), Don't Leave Hungry: 50 Years of the Southern Poetry Review, and in critical essays in Stephen Burt's Close Calls with Nonsense: Reading New Poetry. He has received prizes from, among others, Alligator Juniper, Arts & Letters, GSU Review, the American Poet Prize, Comstock Review, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and The State of Florida. He read from his work at the 2010 Cuisle International Poetry Festival in Limerick, Ireland, and was a poetry panelist at the 61st Conference on World Affairs, University of Colorado.