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poet

Kevin Prufer

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Kevin Prufer
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Kevin Prufer was born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1969. He received a BA from Wesleyan University and MFA degrees from Hollins University and Washington University in St. Louis.

He is the author of several poetry collections, including How He Loved Them (Four Way Books, forthcoming in 2018), Churches (Four Way Books, 2014), and Strange Wood (Louisiana State University Press, 1998). He has also edited several volumes of poetry, including Into English: Poems, Translations, Commentaries (Graywolf Press, 2017) with Martha Collins.

Of his work, Marie Howe writes, “Kevin Prufer has courage and compassion. And he places words so beautiful and accurate and terrifying along a line you can’t help but read to the end….”

Prufer has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Lannan Foundation. The editor-at-large of Pleiades: A Journal of New Writing, he teaches at the University of Houston and in the low-residency MFA at Leslie University. He lives in Houston, Texas.


Selected Bibliography

How He Loved Them (Four Way Books, forthcoming in 2018)
Churches (Four Way Books, 2014)
In a Beautiful Country (Four Way Books, 2011)
National Anthem (Four Way Books, 2008)
Fallen from a Chariot (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2005)
The Finger Bone (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2002)
Strange Wood (Louisiana State University Press, 1998)

by this poet

poem

The little red jewel in the bottom of your wineglass
is so lovely I cannot rinse it out,

so I go into the cool and grassy air to smoke. 
Which is your warmly lit house

past which no soldiers march to take the country back?
When you reached across the table to touch my hand

is not

2
poem
The old cat was dying in the bushes.
Its breaths came slow, slow, 
                                          and still
it looked out over the sweetness of the back lawn,
the swaying of tall grass in the hot wind,
the way sunlight warmed the garbage can's 
sparkling lid.  
                   It closed its hot
poem
The black Mercedes
with the Ayn Rand 
vanity plate
crashed through 
the glass bus stop
and came to rest 
among a bakery’s 
upturned tables.
In the stunned silence,  
fat pigeons descended 
to the wreckage
and pecked at 
the scattered
bread and cake.
The driver slept,
head to the wheel.
The pigeons grew
rich with