The publication of "Nightwalking," a collection of 31 poems by Joel B. Peckham Jr., visiting assistant professor of English at Hope College, has recently been announced by Pecan Grove Press in San Antonio, Texas.
The poems in the volume, written in a variety of poetic forms, are unified by three lines from the title poem: "I'm walking out into the town / I've never visited, down a darkened street / I've traveled all my life." The first section focuses on walking in the city, at night; in the second section the walker moves through in rural settings, contemplating nature; in the final section the traveler reaches the end of the road, reflecting on universal human experience.
The cover of the book is a reproduction of a painting, done especially for the volume, by Peckham's wife, poet and artist Susan Atefat Peckham, who is an assistant professor of English at Hope.
Well-known poet and critic Robert Pack says that Peckham achieves "a richness of diction that makes his poems compelling. He possesses a stylistic grittiness, which can rise to high eloquence, and a profusion of fresh imagistic details, poem by persuasive poem, that is downright exciting." Poet Stephen Behrendt adds, "These are poems of great versatility and vitality, richly textured and complex in the extraordinary music they make with the language."
Peckham received his B.A. degree from Middlebury College, his M.A. from Baylor University, and his Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska Lincoln. He joined the Hope faculty in 1999, and teaches literature, composition and creative writing courses.
Peckham's poems have appeared or are forthcoming in many prestigious national magazines and anthologies, including "The Southern Review," "Yankee Magazine," "The Black Warrior Review," "The Malahat Review" and "Contemporary Poetry of New England" (New England UP). He is author also of many articles and reviews in major scholarly journals, focusing especially on his area of specialization, Southern American literature. He is founder and co-editor of an on-line literary journal, "Milkwood Review," located at: http://www.geocities.com/milkwoodreview
Copies of "Nightwalking" are available from the college's Hope-Geneva Bookstore.