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World Without Finishing
Peter Cooley

Publication date: February 13, 2018


Carnegie Mellon Poetry Series

Carnegie Mellon
2018 • 80 pp. 5 1/2 x 8 1/2"
Poetry / Poetry - American / Poetry - General Subjects

$15.95 Paperback, 978-0-88748-630-2



New Poetry

World Without Finishing continues Peter Cooley’s search for the “ordinary miraculous,” the subject of his books for four decades. In those liminal spaces where Cooley voyages, the otherworldly is a haunting presence, whether in a painting by Rembrandt, the voices of the dead in a Louisiana cemetery for lepers or a mayfly his imagination conjures for its single day on earth. The gods—and God—are near at hand and far from us in the mysterious riddling of Cooley’s new poems.

Reviews / Endorsements



“Peter Cooley knows the notes to the sacred songs. World Without Finishing reveals once again how close to their luminescence he interprets those songs in language such that his poems read like psalms from the constellations. Here we find wisdom in each cadenced utterance, in each spirited chord.”—Major Jackson

“Reverent and penitent, these poems are devotional in the best sense, celebrating the fruits of the earth while desiring also the ascetic’s hunger.”—David St. John



PETER COOLEY was born and educated in the Midwest and has lived over half of his life in New Orleans, where he is Professor of English and Director of Creative Writing at Tulane University. The former Poet Laureate of Louisiana, he received the Marble Faun Award in Poetry from the Faulkner Society and an Atlas Grant from the state of Louisiana. He has published nine previous books, eight of them from Carnegie Mellon. Married and the father of three children, he has published poems in The New Yorker, Poetry, The Atlantic and a number of anthologies.



Wed, 15 Nov 2017 14:00:42 -0500