Books by Peter Sears

For more than 30 years, Peter Sears has published chapbooks of poetry, full-length collections, and books on teaching writing. Below you will find brief descriptions of select titles, with links to learn more. You can also visit Cloudbank Books for more information on Sears' poetry collections.

Long Day, published posthumously in 2019, the poems in Peter's final volume bring us a taste of his unique range of sensibility. Entertaining, somberly hilarious, exquisite and filled with refreshment, these are poems for all seasons, reasons, purposes, and tastes. This small book is a treasure.

"We threw the pot in so hard
we almost fell overboard.

But that was my brother,
not the one walking beside me,
the one who feels, most of the time,

like me clearing my throat.
If only I could reach down
and yank him out."

From "Who Is the Who Walking Beside Me?"

Small Talk, published by Lynx House Press, gathers poems from Peter Sears’ eight previous collections, and adds thirty entirely new poems. The many admirers of his poetry will be delighted to find so many old friends back in print and under a single cover. Eclectic, comic, disarming, deadly, and ever fresh and surprising, these poems offer a feast of necessary delights.

"Dad, tell me that you bent down and picked me up,
held me high and kissed me on the cheek,
nuzzled your bristly cheek into my cheek
and turned me slowly so that I could see the world."

From "Dad, Tell Me"

Peter Sears' first full-length collection, Tour gathers poems from his earlier chapbooks, plus other previously uncollected work. The work is eclectic, humorous, disarming, serious, and consistently alive and fresh.

"I wrinkle all over. I try to smoothe
and move slowly. Walking bobbles me.
My bones are fog. I'm always moist.
I should leave. That's dumb,
I know. Here is always here
and people get used to you."

From "The Man with Loose Skin"

"Though wide-ranging and in three distinct parts, The Brink has a cohesiveness resulting from the poet's consistently fresh and inventive language. There is nothing predictable here. In poem after poem delightful images crop up."
(Vern Rutsala)

"Where darkness made a cave
with passageways, like a body,
I hid my gentleness as a boy
and yelled and sang my own language.
They said they loved me,
the ugly little animals,
even when I stepped on them."

From "The Clearing"

Hailed for its "shifting, whimsical voice" by the poet Joseph Millar, Green Diver picks up where The Brink left off and poems that veer off in a number of directions, sometimes humorous and often revealing.

"There is a train, they say,
and if it stops for you
then you have to board.
Here's what they say about baggage:
you may carry a bag but you can't have anything in it.
The bag is not for looks,
it's to hold on to."

From "My Time May Come Any Time"

Sears' most recent chapbook of 14 poems, Luge shifts between playful and poignant. As one reviewer commented, "What the poems make and assert most crucially is a pace at which experience -- the world's words -- arrive."

“My fastball doesn’t dance,
doesn’t do anything, and it isn’t fast.
That’s why I play the infield.”

From “My Four Pitches”


In writing Gonna Bake Me a Rainbow Poem, published by Scholastic Inc., Sears selected student poems from the Scholastic poetry writing contest over several years to demonstrate to students how they might write their own poems. He also states why he admires each poem.

Published in 2000, Secret Writing discusses the process of creating and deciphering secret and sometimes difficult language, and includes critical thinking and writing exercises. The book is especially focused on helping young writers approach writing from a positive, creative mind.