Poems by Kevin Prufer

Ars Poetica

Air Disaster Over Kansas

Ode to Rome


Kevin Prufer’s poetic eye sweeps from the wings of history to a roadside accident to the slivers of bone in the dust of an archeological dig. Writing with deep respect for the wrecks and ravages of an uncertain age, he clothes his sometimes mundane subjects in an uncommon beauty. Susan Ludvigson writes that Prufer’s poems use “language so imaginatively brilliant that even the ominous and the sad are imbued with pleasure.” His third and most recent volume, Fallen from a Chariot (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2005), continues the elegiac arc for which the poet is known, examining his characteristic ruins and remains, and elsewhere voicing echoes of Rome’s ancient rulers. Miraculously conjuring grace from the gruesome and empathy for the inanimate, Prufer gives as much soul to “The black hearts of automobiles” as to “the body/unaware and cooling against the dash.”

A native of Ohio, Kevin Prufer received degrees from Wesleyan, Hollins and Washington Universities. His first two books, Strange Wood (Winthrop University Press/Louisiana State University Press, 1998) and The Finger Bone (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2002) earned wide acclaim for their vision and versatility. The latter was praised by the American Book Review as “intellectually and imagistically complex” and by The Georgia Review as “challenging and provocative,” and The Bloomsbury Review named Fallen from a Chariot among the “Best Books of the Last 25 Years.” A fourth collection, National Anthem, is forthcoming in 2008 from Four Way Books.





      Poetry Center Reading:  
    Spring 2007 (with Sarah Manguso)