Peter Meinke
Peter Meinke

Florida Poet Laureate

Peter Meinke was the first Poet Laureate of St. Petersburg, and now is Poet Laureate of Florida. His most recent books are Lucky Bones (poems, 2014)—his 8th book in the Pitt Poetry Series; The Expert Witness (stories, UT Press 2016), and To Start With, Feel Fortunate (a collection of his Poet’s Notebook columns that received the 2017 William Meredith Poetry Award). He’s won awards from the NEA, PSA, and Fulbright organizations, and has given readings throughout America, including at the Library of Congress, as well as at universities in Europe and Africa. He’s married to the artist Jeanne Clark Meinke, who has illustrated many of his books.


Three Stages: The Life and Work of a Poet

Florida’s Poet Laureate takes us through the three distinct stages of a poet’s life:

Stage 1 – Youth (20-45) Discussion of specific ways that poets begin, helpful things to know about writing and publishing, magazines and online publishing that lead to one’s first book.  Includes a close reading of a poem as an example of these things

Stage 2 – Middle Age (46-65) Discussion on how to continue writing poetry for a long time, entering contests, talking to publishers.  How to schedule your time.  Attitudes to help you succeed.

Old Age (66-85) How different is one’s writing now?  Life-long habits, connections, goals.  If students have brought poems to read, this will be the time, with some class discussion.

Three things you will learn:

  1. The different advantages of free verse and formal verse; and how to tell which serves them best.
  2. How to handle the practical life of poet—time structure, sending poems out, contests, magazine and books.
  3. How it’s possible to lead a long, stable, and satisfying life deeply involved in poetry—and you don’t have to become a Poet Laureate to do so.

A Long Voyage in Verse:  a Poetry Reading by Florida’s Poet Laureate

Join Florida’s Poet Laureate Peter Meinke for a special poetry reading and insights into his poems.

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