Filling an important gap in the literary world, The Richard Peabody Reader is a wide-ranging selection of this great writer’s poetry and prose. As a publisher, Peabody’s steadfast dedication to that which is new, challenging, innovative, and dynamic has won him a wide reputation among writers whose work he has championed. This volume demonstrates those same values, embodied in nearly four decades of fiercely smart, sophisticated, and often very funny writing. From his first collection of poems, I’m in Love with the Morton Salt Girl, to his most recent collection of short stories, Blue Suburban Skies, Peabody has established and developed a thoroughly unique voice, both warm and piercing, to deliver content that ranges from the hilarious (the short story “Flea Wars”), to the bittersweet (the poem “The Other Man is Always French”), to the elegiac (the poem “Civil War Pieta”), to the absurd (the rollicking farce of a short story “Bad Day at Ikea”). Peabody’s aesthetic is all-embracing—strands of punk, beat, experimental, feminist, and political protest literary influences blend with the purely romantic to create a body of work that is both profound and pleasing.
“The life work of this proud, bitter, principled, generous man and the immeasurable service he has done on behalf of literature command respect and deserve attention.”
-Michael Lindgren, The Washington Post Books Section