Appointed poet laureate of the state of Florida on June 15, 2015, Peter Meinke is the author of over twenty books of poetry. He has received many awards, including a Fulbright Fellowship, two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, and three prizes from the Poetry Society of America. He worked at Eckerd College until 1993, when he retired. During his time at the college, he founded and directed its Writing Workshop.


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Florida poet laureate

Peter Meinke


Barque of phosphor
On the palmy beach,

Move outward into heaven,
Into the alabasters
And night blues.

Foam and cloud are one.
Sultry moon-monsters
Are dissolving.

Fill your black hull
With white moonlight.

There will never be an end
To this droning of the surf.

After The I Hate to Cook Cookbook (1961)
How scattered I am: post-spouse, with company coming;
in Florida in my earthquake gown, in my eelskin slingbacks
and electric mink stole. I tried to make
puff paste with sweating hands; butter
in the
She sang beyond the genius of the sea.
The water never formed to mind or voice,
Like a body wholly body, fluttering
Its empty sleeves; and yet its mimic motion
Made constant cry, caused constantly a cry,
That was not ours although we understood,
Inhuman, of the veritable ocean.

The sea was not a mask.  No more