The Contracted World (Paperback)

New & More Selected Poems

By Peter Meinke

University of Pittsburgh Press, 9780822959182, 116pp.

Publication Date: January 28, 2006

List Price: 14.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


"The Contracted World" includes representative poems from four of Peter Meinke's previous collections. In poems that show us what it is like to grow up in America, love, nature, cities, sports, war, and peace are filtered through the imagination and verbal skills of one of our brightest poets.

The new poems experiment with form, and address a life that is shrinking in specific ways: the poet is aging, the world is getting smaller, our post-9/11 freedoms are eroding, and our choices seem fewer and less attractive. Despite feelings of anger and loneliness, the narrator speaks to us in a personal, accessible, and often humorous voice.

Praise For The Contracted World: New & More Selected Poems

“Each poem is striking, and many are immediate favorites, all composed of vigor, sentiment, the high idealism and the self-humor that are particularly ours, and dished up in the twang and slang of American plainsong.”
--Publishers Weekly on The Night Train and the Golden Bird

“[Meinke’s poems] never omit the music of language and a real search for meaning; and while by turns playful, satirical and paradoxical, they never undercut their honesty by descending into nonsense.”
--Coldfront Magazine

“There is a little of the Ancient Mariner in the tenacity and urgency with which Peter Meinke addresses his readers. These poems get hold of us by the coat lapels and when they release us we are delighted, shaken, and considerably wiser.”
--Ted Kooser on Scars