Purchase El Dorado

El Dorado

University Of Chicago Press (2013)

In El Dorado, Campion explores what it feels like to live in America right now, at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Splicing cell-phone chatter with translations of ancient poems, jump-cutting from traditional to invented forms, and turning his high-res lens on everything from box stores to trout streams to airport lounges, Campion renders both personal and collective experience with capacious and subtle skill.

Purchase The Lions

The Lions

University of Chicago Press (2009)

“Like George Oppen’s, Peter Campion’s poems not only inhabit but create the space where the single soul collides with the roiling world. Should the poet ‘hold some ground against the surge’ or ‘carve a life’ from it? Campion won’t answer this question—not only because it cannot be answered but because he knows that poetry is itself a questioning, a refusal of ready hierarchies, a love-affair with tremor and noise. Like no one else’s, Campion’s poems are driven by the elegance of argument along with a recognition that argument alone will get us nowhere. Their language is everywhere perspicuous, everywhere surprising. Like a wild animal, they are ‘liveliest / just before they vanish.’ The Lions is an alarming, beautiful book.”

—James Longenbach


Purchase Other People

Other People

University of Chicago Press (2005)

“The ‘other people’ of the title of this extraordinary book are fully alive in the life of its language; and so is the poet observing them, and observing himself, as one of them. The book is a sympathetic and unsentimental instrument of truth.”

—David Ferry