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.


upcoming events

Mar 07 2018
Cave Canem Fellows Off-Site Reading
Experience our annual Off-Site Reading at AWP-Tampa, hosted by The University of South Florida’s Institute on Black Life! This year’s reading is headlined by Florida affiliated Cave Canem fellows Yolanda Franklin, Natalie Graham, Breauna Larease, Jonathan Moody and Lolita White, who will open the night before an additional 15 fellows share their work in four-minute, rapid-fire intervals. Fellow and former Tampa resident Derrick Lynn Austin emcees. Free and open to the public, this event is sponsored by the University of South Florida.
This reading is dedicated to the memory of Cave Canem fellow Ai Elo.
4202 E. Fowler Avenue, ALC100
33620 Tampa, Florida
Mar 09 2018
A Reading & Conversation with Tyehimba Jess, Shara McCallum, and Morgan Parker
Enjoy an afternoon of phenomenal poetry and stimulating conversation! Award-winning poets Tyehimba Jess, Shara McCallum, and Morgan Parker give brief readings of their original work, followed by a discussion on a range of topics, from race and poetic forms, to the poet’s evolving role and responsibility in and to a literary landscape at once predominantly white and rapidly diversifying. Cave Canem fellow Clint Smith moderates.
Open to AWP pass-holders. For more information on how to register, visit awpwriter.org.
Tyehimba Jess's most recent book, Olio (Wave Books, 2016), won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, The Midland Society Author’s Award in Poetry, and received an Outstanding Contribution to Publishing Citation from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. His first collection, Leadbelly (Wave Books, 2005), won the 2004 National Poetry Series, and was named one of the “Best Poetry Book of 2005” by the Library Journal and Black Issues Book Review. A Cave Canem alumni, Jess’s fellowships and additional awards include a 2016 Lannan Literary Award in Poetry, a 2004 Literature Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and a 2006 Whiting Fellowship. Jess is a Professor of English at the College of Staten Island.
Shara McCallum is a Jamaican-American writer and the author of five books of poetry, published in the US and UK, most recently Madwoman (2017). Her work has been widely published in the US, the Caribbean, and Europe, has been translated into several languages, and has received such recognition as a Witter Bynner Fellowship from the Library of Congress and an NEA Poetry Fellowship. She lives in Pennsylvania and teaches creative writing & literature at Penn State University.
Morgan Parker is the author of two books, There Are More Beautiful Things than Beyoncé (Tin House Books 2017) and Other People’s Comfort Keeps Me Up At Night (Switchback Books 2015), and two forthcoming publications, Magical Negro (Tin House, 2019) a poetry collection, and a debut book of nonfiction to be published later that year by One World.  A recipient of a 2017 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship, winner of a 2016 Pushcart Prize, and a Cave Canem graduate fellow, Parker received her Bachelors from Columbia University, and an MFA in Poetry from NYU. She lives in Los Angeles.
Clint Smith is a writer, teacher, and Ph.D. Candidate at Harvard University. He is a 2014 National Poetry Slam champion, a 2017 recipient of the Jerome J. Shestack Prize from the American Poetry Review, and has received fellowships from Cave Canem and the National Science Foundation. His writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Paris Review, The New Republic and he has delivered two popular TED Talks, The Danger of Silence & How to Raise a Black Son in America. His debut collection of poems, Counting Descent, was published in 2016 by Write Bloody Publishing. It won the 2017 Literary Award for Best Poetry Book from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association and was a finalist for an NAACP Image Award.
333 S Franklin St, Ballroom B, First Floor
33602 Tampa, Florida

recent & featured listings

type namesort ascending state
Writing Program University of South Florida Florida
Writing Program University of Miami MFA Program Florida
Writing Program University of Central Florida Florida
Small Press The University Press of Florida Florida
Literary Magazine The Tampa Review Florida
Landmark The Poet Homes of Key West, FL Florida
Literary Magazine The Florida Review Florida
Literary Organization The Cypress Dome Society Florida
Literary Magazine Subtropics Review Florida
Literary Organization South Florida Writers' Association Florida
Poetry in Florida
Florida poet laureate

Peter Meinke

Peter Meinke was named the poet laureate of Florida in 2015. He is the author of Lucky Bones (University of Pittsburgh Press).


Midsummer lies on this town 
like a plague: locusts now replaced 
by humidity, the bloodied Nile

now an algae-covered rivulet 
struggling to find its terminus. 
Our choice is a simple one:

to leave or to remain, to render 
the Spanish moss a memory 
or to pull it from trees, repeatedly.

And this must be what

Green and blue and white, it is a flag
for Florida stitched by hungry ibises.

It is a paradise of flocks, a cornucopia
of wind and grass and dark, slow waters.

Turtles bask in the last tatters of afternoon,
frogs perfect their symphony at dusk—

in its solitude we remember ourselves

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.