Peter Meinke

Poet Peter Meinke has described himself as a “neighborhood poet” – but he’s much more than that. His work considers everything from the implications of science to the depths of philosophical ontology to, yes, family and everyday life – but always with a formal vigor that estranges in beautiful ways.

Meinke was born in Brooklyn in 1932, but by 1966 had made his way to St. Petersburg to teach English at what is now Eckerd College. He founded the Writing Workshop there, and in 2008 Eckerd established a Chair in Creative Writing in his name, currently held by Sterling Watson.

Meinke has received two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, an O. Henry Award, and several prizes from the Poetry Society of America. Meinke’s short story collection, The Piano Tuner won a Flanery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction.

In 2009, Meinke was appointed Poet Laureate of St. Petersburg. For more than seven years, he has published a weekly Poet’s Notebook column in Creative Loafing, touching on topics from literature and travel to politics.


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