Nathan Keay

Peter O'Leary


Peter O’Leary was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1968. Though he has lived for extended stays in Portland, Vienna, St. Louis, and Budapest, the bulk of his life has been lived alongside the Great Lakes and their waterways: the Detroit River, Lake St. Clair, the St. Clair River, and Lake Michigan. His books of poetry include Watchfulness, Depth Theology, Luminous Epinoia, Phosphorescence of Thought, The Sampo, and Earth Is Best. As Ronald Johnson’s literary executor, he has edited several volumes of Johnson’s poetry, including The Shrubberies, Radi os, and new editions of ARK and The Book of the Green Man. He has also edited Is Music: Selected Poems by John Taggart. In 2002, his critical study, Gnostic Contagion: Robert Duncan & the Poetry of Illness, was published. A newer study, Thick and Dazzling Darkness: Religious Poetry in a Secular Age, was published by Columbia University Press in 2018. He lives in Oak Park, Illinois and teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and at the University of Chicago.

Festival Years: 2012