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August 2000
104 pages  

5.5 x 9
9780822957249
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Zinc Fingers
Poems A to Z
Meinke, Peter
In Peter Meinke’s eleventh collection, he writes poems of humor and sadness. His poems speak truth with the self-assurance of a man willing to laugh at himself and, by extension, he invites us to laugh at ourselves as well.
Peter Meinke is emeritus professor of creative writing at Eckerd College. He has published numerous books of poetry, including Scars, Zinc Fingers, Liquid Paper, and The Contracted World: New & More Selected Poems. Meinke is the recipient of many awards, including the Olivet Prize, the Paumanok Award, three Poetry Society of America Awards, the Flannery O’Connor Award, and two NEA Fellowships. In 2009 he was appointed the first Poet Laureate of St. Petersburg, Florida.
Zinc Fingers is Peter Meinke’s solid voice at its most recklessly passionate pitch, framed by the eloquent syntax of its silences. Many of these poems have the glow of youth in them, and it is never a pose. When he says ‘The nightingale’s a feather of a bird,’ a single image becomes flight itself, and the weightlessness of time rides a thermal in Meinke’s private weather. The optimism he has nurtured throughout his long and distinguished career makes the smallest fragments of the book seem large and constantly unfolding. There is something genuinely childlike yet profoundly philosophical about his approach to the many faces of language—like a mathematician counting on his fingers as he solves the ultimate problem.”—Dionisio D. Martínez

“Thank God for Peter Meinke’s voice of literary sanity, for these poems of a lovable, beleaguered man trying to make sense of a difficult world. Zinc Fingers is a delight from beginning to end.”—Edward Field

“That he can remain so accessible and still maintain his masterful command of formal poetic structure and complexity is his real strength and has earned him his honored position among American poets today. . . . Readers and lovers of language will delight in this book, but it could easily make a reader and lover of language out of anyone. Need a bit of poetry in life? A verse or two at breakfast, a couple for cocktails and a special one for bedtime are bound to make life better.”––The Tampa Tribune

“Meinke’s latest collection stands among his best, using a variety of forms from free verse to sonnet to villanelle and a wide range of tones from light to ‘first person jugular,’ to use Meinke’s own phrase.” “In the best of Meinke’s work his impressive skills yield poems of scope and extraordinary power. . . . His greatest gift may be his ability ot shed enormous light through small windows. . . . Most of us can mulch and most of us can muse, but only a genuine poet can forge that lightning connection between such things over and over again.”---Tampa Times,

“Meinke is the Alex Rodriguez of contemporary poets, i.e. the complete package. He can write in classical forms -- sonnets, villanelles, sestinas ---blank verse, free verse, even a concrete poem here and there. Meinke is the most human of poets. His love poems are never blind to the pain of loss, his poems about the humor of daily life always contain a little nod to the heartbreak of living. If I had to put together a team for a Rotisserie Poetry League, my first pick would be Peter Meinke.”--Bookselling This Week

“Some poems among 68 in this collection are old favorites, but many are new and sure to delight Meinke's readers, who love his playful profundity, his witty way with words and, perhaps most of all, his accessibility. . . . Readers and lovers of langauge will delight in this book, but it could easily make a reader and lover of language out of almost anyone.”—Tribune and Times

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Pitt Poetry Series Table of Contents
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Peter Meinke writes with the wisdom of a prophet. His poems speak truth with the self-assurance of a man willing to laugh at himself and, by extension, he invites us to laugh at ourselves as well. In this, his eleventh collection, he is in his element, writing poems of humor and sadness, taking readers to a place they had only a vague hope of ever reaching.
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