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Poetry! Poetry! Poetry!
Peter Davis

August 2010
Trade Paper Original
ISBN: 978-0-982-65870-3
116 pp. | $16.00


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I am very appreciative that you’ve taken the time to read this poem. I hope you like it. Let me know what I can do to improve it. I know that we all have different tastes and different ideas about what comprises good writing. Hopefully, we can agree in this instance. If you have very strong feelings about it, one way or another, you should write a review of the book in which this poem appears. If this poem is being published in a journal and you are unaware that it is also in a book, you should look it up. It is possible it is not yet in a book. You could even try reaching me, or something. You could google me. A review would really be nice. Something formal so that I feel it’s legitimate. I’m actually only half interested in this poem so far, but I’m also feeling a small mania about it. I have reason to believe that I’m very, very good and that you’re leaning closer and closer and closer and that at any particular instant you may kiss me on the cheek.


Peter Davis writes, draws, and makes music in Muncie, Indiana, with his sweet kids and sweet wife. His first book of poetry is Hitler’s Mustache (2007), and he edited Poet’s Bookshelf: Contemporary Poets on Books That Shaped Their Art (2005) and coedited Poet’s Bookshelf II (2008) with Tom Koontz, all from Barnwood Press. He teaches English at Ball State University. More, including his music project, Short Hand, at

Five poems from Poetry! Poetry! Poetry! are forthcoming in The Best American Poetry 2010, edited by Amy Gerstler, series edited by David Lehman.

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More news & reviews about Peter and PPP may be found on our news page.

Praise for Poetry! Poetry! Poetry!

Passing Professor Davis’s office door yesterday—Professor Davis’s closed office door—I found myself wishing he was on a Fulbright like before, not a MacArthur, so that he would be back among us sooner, casting his brilliant (and humane) light. Because how is our intellectually restless little ivied community to survive without him? This book will help. From a time when he was young, full of hope, teaching in Muncie, it looks us straight in the eye, inviting us to identify with this nubile and insouciant David—before he became the giant that is Peter Davis.

Poets have long labored under the illusion of a readership when, in fact, the notion of audience is often the last thing on poetry’s mind. It’s in this sense of contradiction—the need to be loved and the need to be left alone—that much poetry finds its spirit. Peter Davis further complicates this picture by creating a book addressing a totally fictive audience thereby foregrounding this ambiguous condition. Uncomfortably self-conscious and maddeningly self-referential, Davis has constructed a complex book-length work of institutional critique that both refutes and upholds that presumed sacred bond between author and audience. Poetry! Poetry! Poetry! is a perfect work for an age where thinkership has triumphed over readership.

Poets love to dress up their work in all sorts of outfits— professorial corduroy jackets with leather patches at the elbows, diaphanous Renaissance gowns, white lab coats and rubber gloves, clown drag—but this is what so, so many poems look like naked. Peter Davis deftly and unswervingly reveals a truer motive for metaphor. 

Perhaps readers might expect this blurb for this collection of delightful, self-referential metapoems to be self referential itself. If you think that while you read the back of this book, you’re wrong. In Poetry! Poetry! Poetry!, Peter Davis breaks new ground by naming the ground itself in an Adamic fashion as only he can do. I was pretty proud of myself with that term, Adamic fashion. –DANIEL NESTER