Issue 87: Allan Peterson


About Allan Peterson

A visual artist and poet, the most recent of Allan Peterson’s six books is This Luminous, New and Selected Poems, a finalist for the Oregon Book Award.  Some other titles include Precarious, a finalist for the Lascaux Prize; All the Lavish in Common, Juniper Prize; and Fragile Acts, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. His third book, As Much As, was published by Salmon Press, Ireland

His work has appeared in magazines such as: Agni, A Public Space, The Nation, The Gettysburg Review, The Paris Review, Blackbird, The Believer, The Rumpus, Zyzzyva, as well as internationally. No social media, but his website is:, stop by. Other links and publications can be found there.

A Profile of the Author

Notes on "Marksman" and "Anxiety"

A poem is a developing revelation. I do not know where a poem will go, nor do I want to. What would be the fun. This one started with those first few lines imagining a baby me looking up at I know not what. It acquired ideas that came together by reveries w/o attempting to create a narrative. The vision that developed is excited, curious, and optimistic, not unlike my current state, dec-ades later. In imagining inner thoughts and expectations, I could speak both as observer and participant. The accruing connections to the initial ideas were sometimes surprising, but I trust such jumps. The final line, that occurred spontaneously while working on something else a few days later, added a per-fect note of futurity.

Music, Food, Booze, Tattoos, Kittens, etc.

Long a vegetarian, I don’t eat my animal friends, so many of whom I’ve admired over the years. I think I have an especially good reputation among turtles, having saved so many from highway compressions. If the question was “why did the turtle cross the road,” the answer would be: because Allan carried me there.

Beer and desert are fine combinations. Black Boss is a particularly delicious Polish porter. Cheesecake and pecan pie pair well. No music when I’m writing, otherwise Blues and Baroque.

“Marksman” and “Anxiety” by Allan Peterson

“Marksman”   Whoa look at that A sweat bee big as a warbler It could mean that the terror is true after all and it’s all your fault Robert Oppenheimer … Read more

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