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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, 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. He is a professor in the creative writing program at the University of Houston, and cocurator of The Unsung Masters Series, a book series that brings work by long-forgotten writers to new readers. He lives in Houston, Texas.


Selected Bibliography

How He Loved Them (Four Way Books, 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 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
I love the crown molding and the white granite countertops.

And look, dear! Stainless steel appliances! Don’t you love them?  

It’s such a perfect apartment, and, in every room, a coffered ceiling.     

And don’t you love the pink twin sinks, like porcelain scallops?

And listen to the faucets, 

like the rush
2
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