MadHat Press

While the Undertaker Sleeps by Peter Johnson (hardcover)

Praise for While the Undertaker Sleeps:
Collected and New Prose Poems

“Peter Johnson is the poet of the collision of imagination and reality…. [His] prose poems return us to that world where our imagination was the hero setting out almost daily in a series of fabulous adventures under the dining room table, which, we might say, rests on the shaky legs of common sense.… The excitement of prose poetry is that it transgresses the rules to let the reader catch a glimpse of what could be called the true life of the imagination. This is what Peter Johnson gives us. What more can we ask of a book of poems?”
—Charles Simic

“[Johnson’s] prose poems are comic, sexual, and endlessly inventive; poems of appreciation and discovery; poems that prove there is such a thing as the American prose poem.”
—Russell Edson

“Because Peter Johnson does not guide himself either by the turns or counterturns of verse or the horizontal urge of prose, he must continually reinvent the wheel and its destination. He writes with a lover’s lavish extravagance and a yogi’s self-discipline. His funny poems are heartbreaking and his serious ones are hilarious.”   —Bruce Smith

“Whether he’s writing about fatherhood, marriage, aging, the daily drudgery of life, or the Kafkaesque absurdity of our current political situation, Peter Johnson is surprising, witty, and illuminating. He is, to my mind, one of the most provocative and exciting voices in American prose poetry.”
—Nin Andrews

“Johnson’s prose poetry presents a consciousness that combines the immediacy of personal observations with the darker, inner urgencies of the unconscious. His supremely quirky mind enables him to combine the strange and familiar, the most urgent bursts of lyricism with disarmingly unemotional statements. He leaves the reader with a new appreciation of a genre that, perhaps more than any other genre, makes the ordinary extraordinary.”
—Michel Delville, author of The American Prose Poem: Poetic Form and the Boundaries of Genre

Paperback: 348 pages
Publisher: Madhat, Inc.
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-1-952335-60-0


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MadHat Press seeks to foster the work of writers and poets: explosive, lyrical, passionate, deeply wrought voices that stretch the boundaries of language, narrative and image, vital and enduring literary voices that sing on the page as well as in the mind.

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