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March 1, 2007, AWP Conference, Atlanta. From the Academy Audio Archive

About this poet

Peter Gizzi was born on August 7, 1959, and grew up in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. He holds degrees from New York University, Brown University, and the State University of New York at Buffalo.

His books of poetry include Archeophonics (Wesleyan University Press, 2016), In Defense of Nothing: Selected Poems, 1987-2011 (Wesleyan University Press, 2014); The Outernationale (Wesleyan University Press, 2007), and Periplum: Or, I, the Blaze (Avec Books, 1992). He has also published several limited-edition chapbooks, folios, and artist books. His work has been widely anthologized and translated into numerous languages.

About his collection Artificial Heart, the critic Marjorie Perloff writes, “In his visionary quest, his raw emotion, and his New York school spontaneity, Gizzi performs a clinamen that relates him to O’Hara, Ashbery, and, beyond these poets, to Rimbaud and Hart Crane.... a master of the mot juste and of sound structure. Most of the book’s poems... are as memorable as they are moving and spare.”

Gizzi has held residencies at The MacDowell Colony, The Foundation of French Literature at Royaumont, Un Bureau Sur L’Atlantique, and the Centre International de Poesie Marseille. His honors include the Lavan Younger Poet Award from the Academy of American Poets and fellowships from the Howard Foundation, The Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts, and The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

His work as an editor includes o•blék: a journal of language artsThe Exact Change Yearbook, and The House That Jack Built: The Collected Lectures of Jack Spicer (Wesleyan University Press, 1998).He has taught at Brown University, and the University of California, Santa Cruz. He is currently on the faculty of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.


Selected Bibliography

Archeophonics (Wesleyan University Press, 2016)
In Defense of Nothing: Selected Poems, 1987-2011 (Wesleyan University Press, 2014)
Threshold Songs (Wesleyan University Press, 2011)
The Outernationale (Wesleyan University Press, 2007)
Periplum and Other Poems (Salt Publishing, 2004)
Some Values of Landscape and Weather (Wesleyan University Press, 2003)
Artificial Heart (Burning Deck, 1998)
Periplum: Or, I, the Blaze (Avec Books, 1992)

It Was Raining in Delft

A cornerstone. Marble pilings. Curbstones and brick.
I saw rooftops. The sun after a rain shower.
Liz, there are children in clumsy jackets. Cobblestones
         and the sun now in a curbside pool.
I will call in an hour where you are sleeping. I’ve been walking
         for 7 hrs on yr name day.
Dead, I am calling you now.
There are colonnades. Yellow wrappers in the square.
Just what you’d suspect: a market with flowers and matrons,
         handbags.
Beauty walks this world. It ages everything.
I am far and I am an animal and I am just another I-am poem,
         a we-see poem, a they-love poem.
The green. All the different windows.
There is so much stone here. And grass. So beautiful each
         translucent electric blade.
And the noise. Cheers folding into traffic. These things.
         Things that have been already said many times:
leaf, zipper, sparrow, lintel, scarf, window shade.

From Some Values of Landscape and Weather © 2003 by Peter Gizzi. Published by Wesleyan University Press and used with permission.

From Some Values of Landscape and Weather © 2003 by Peter Gizzi. Published by Wesleyan University Press and used with permission.

Peter Gizzi

Peter Gizzi

Peter Gizzi was born in 1959 and grew up in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. He is the author of several poetry collections, including Archeophonics (Wesleyan University Press, 2016).

by this poet

poem

         If love if then if now if the flowers of if the conditional
if of arrows the condition of if
         if to say light to inhabit light if to speak if to live, so
         if to say it is you if love is if your form is if your waist that
pictures the fluted stem if lavender

poem

When I look out your window I see another window
I see a wedding in my brain, a stylus and a groove
a voice waving there

When I look out your window I see another window
these trees are not real they grow out of air
they fell like dust they fell

So singing is seeing and

poem
I've spent my life 
in a lone mechanical whine, 

this combustion far off.

How fathomless to be 
embedded in glacial ice,

what piece of self hiding there.

I am not sure about meaning 
but understand the wave.

No more Novalis out loud.

No Juan de la Cruz singing 
"I do not die to die."

No solstice, midhaven