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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
A good way to fall in love
is to turn off the headlights
and drive very fast down dark roads.

Another way to fall in love
is to say they are only mints
and swallow them with a strong drink.

Then it is autumn in the body.
Your hands are cold.
Then it is winter and we are still at war.

The gold-haired girl is
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
poem
They wanted him to stop kicking like that—
it made their eyes corkscrew, drilled the sun in the sky
so light dumped out like blood from a leak.
The boy in the trunk wouldn't die.

They drove and drove, and he dented the trunk's tight lid,
called their names, then pounded the wheel wells
with a tire iron. The sun