SKU: 978-1-64317-130-2

Peter Kline

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Series Editor: Jon Thompson

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978-1-64317-130-2 (paperback, $14.00) 978-1-64317-131-9 (Adobe eBook, $9.99, by CD or email) © 2020 by Parlor Press. 99 pages.

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Peter Kline’s Mirrorforms is a daring, experimental collection of poems in which language reaches its most pressurized state. Kline has invented a new poetic form, the mirrorform, which he uses with musical verve to essentialize thought and intensify feeling. The result is that these poems achieve jewel-like precision: each darkly glinting facet reveals the nuances and ambiguities of longing, transgression, and faith. These poems are sharply ironic, darkly funny, and ferocious, and mark out a unique place in contemporary American poetry.

What People Are Saying

In Mirrorforms, Peter Kline has invented and perfected a new poetic form; in and through its strict and tricky confines, he takes the reader on remarkably diverse journeys. From a sexy Godhunger out of Donne (“Is there a place for me / deep in a secret pocket / of your black leather jacket / to pass eternity?”) to wordplay worthy of Stevens (“Whatever // ––whiffles your whirligig / ––pips you –– pops your Bud/  ––puts pepper in your pud…”). From dramatic Monologues (Shapeshifter, Narcissist, Catcaller) through various Studies, to a beautiful and moving series of elegiac Votives, these mirrors reflect — and reflect upon— loneliness and estrangement; vulnerability and kink: a wide spectrum of the shadings of our emotions. One of the speakers tells us, “I’ve been a courtesan / to an immense Amen.” Amen to that, and to seeing, someday soon, Kline’s funhousing “Mirrorform” take its rightful place in the Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry & Poetics. —Moira Egan

With laser focus and a fixed stare, Peter Kline’s Mirrorforms shows us how brevity can reflect an expansive emotional spectrum, marrying wit and pathos in the most unexpected ways. Risky and formally inventive, playful yet rigorous, these poems work like mirrors facing one another; they give a sense of the infinite—the endless joys, losses, and mysteries that make our world. —Bruce Snider

About the Author

PETER KLINE teaches writing at the University of San Francisco and in Stanford University’s Master of Liberal Arts Program. A former Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford, he has also received residency fellowships from the Amy Clampitt House, James Merrill House, Marble House Project, Artsmith Orcas Island, and Kimmel Harding Nelson Foundation. His poetry has appeared in Ploughshares, Poetry, Tin House, and many other journals, as well as the Best New Poets series, the Verse Daily website, and the Random House anthology of metrical poetry, Measure for Measure. Since 2012 he has directed the San Francisco literary reading series Bazaar Writers Salon. He is the author of one previous poetry collection, Deviants, published by Stephen F. Austin State University Press in 2013.


PSALMS | I | II | III | IV | V | VI | VII | VIII | IX | X | XI | XII | XIII | XIV | XV | XVI | XVII | XVIII | XIX | XX | END-STOPS | Whatever | Malediction | Double Cliché | Proverbs | Life | Death | SIGECAPS | Pajamalaise | Rubber Stamp | Funhouse Mirror | MONOLOGUES | The Living Dead | Procrastinator | Shapeshifter | Narcissist | Trumpeteer | Daredevil | Capitalist | Theorist | Convalescent | Catcaller | Opportunist | Sadist | Visionary | Apostate | Worrier | Impetuist | Futurist | Skeptic | Flirt | STUDIES | Conservation | Hypnology | Microeconomics | Narratology | Accounting | Risk Management | Cognitive Science | Mathematics | Disaster Research | Genealogy | Radiophysics | VOTIVES | Blue Yonder | Field Guide | A Bouquet for Amy Clampitt | In Memory Of | Lament | Planetary | Notes | Acknowledgments | About the Author | Free Verse Editions

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