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One Summer Evening at the Falls

The poems in this collection capture the fantastic feeling of falling in love, all while keeping eyes on its lifecycles of crashing aftermaths, lingering regrets, guilt, and renewal. Peter Campion brings us to a series of scenes—on the damp patio, in the darkroom, and along the interstate—where we find familiar characters, lovers, and strangers. In the title poem, he takes us to the falls, where people and passions mix amid the sticky hanging mists:
                        That charge of summer nights, that edge, like everyone’s checking
                        everyone out. Lingering a moment in the crowd
                        gathered to watch the rush and crash and let the mist
                        drift upward to our faces, I’m here: the future feels
                        open again. Even alone tonight—still: open.
Campion’s poems introduce us to a range of people, all of whom are rendered with distinctiveness and intimacy. Their voices proliferate through the collection, with lyric folding into speech, autobiography becoming dramatic monologue, and casual storytelling taking on a ritualistic intensity. The poems in One Summer Evening at the Falls show how each character and each moment can be worthy of love and that this love both undoes us and makes us who we are. In narrative and lyric, in formal verse and free, Campion brings contemporary playfulness together with his classical talent to create this far-reaching and tender collection.

88 pages | 5-1/2 x 8-1/2 | © 2021

Phoenix Poets



“The world is with us in Campion’s bright new book, a phenomenal place where this poet’s powers are not wasted, but up-gathered into complex aching memory, a place of the saturated sensational real where human agency is thwarted by desires blunted against time and temperament. It’s where we live. Campion has the disabused but fired imagination to see it in a plausible scale, to find the balance and tone to pitch himself in relation to others who constantly adjust the frame. To traverse the distances, one must see them first; Campion looks where others miss or find too formidable to cross. There are many poets to love; this is one you can also trust.”

Joshua Weiner, author of Berlin Notebook: Where Are the Refugees?

“In this collection, Campion conceives of a formula to create out of the ‘less Romantic. More trained automatic’ of day-to-day life in the US. The poems here reiterate Campion’s exceptional sensitivity to sound, and his ability to listen and allow for the voices coming into his lines to become as integral to the poet’s conception of the self as any voice from within. With this rare ability, Campion composes poetry that places the American scene outside of itself and opens it to the rest of the world like no other American poet.”

Ahmad Almallah, author of Bitter English

"Campion’s newest collection is 'glistening,' like a shoulder blade that appears in one poem. It is a composite, beautiful murmur of a vibrant and intentionally (g)listening poet attuned to the subtlest frequencies. Campion listens to all of life—exterior, interior, mythic, poetic—as one might listen for the music of a waterfall on a summer evening, finding in it the comfort of some monumental, inexhaustible, natural truth."

The Kenyon Review

Table of Contents



One Summer Evening at the Falls
The Lingering
Bud, the Photographer
She Dreamed a Giant Screen
Saint Anthony Falls
Le Chien
After Ovid: The House of Rumor


Ice Cream
After Sappho: The Drill
After Horace
In Memory of Terry Adkins
1.    His Shoes
2.    Bees
After Baudelaire: The Cover
Sitcom Set
After Jin Eun Yung: Long Finger Poem


The Street We Lived On
1.    His Picture
2.    The End of Your Sentence
One Summer Evening at the Falls (II)
Night Hill

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