David Keplinger is the author of five volumes of poetry. He has won the T.S. Eliot Prize, the C.P. Cavafy Poetry Prize, the Erskine J. Poetry Prize, and the Colorado Book Award, as well as two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and grants from the DC, Danish, and Pennsylvania Councils on the Arts. He directs the MFA program in creative writing at American University in Washington, DC.
Praise for Another City "In this book loss is not just something gone, but something that can be found somewhere else, say in a poem, this time made more beautiful. . . . Here the poet teaches us--with fine-grained tactics, atmospheric language and sustained energy--that insight comes with craft."--Washington Independent Review of Books "The exquisite poems in David Keplinger's Another City possess the weight and certitude of stone, yet break within one as geodes: their depths prismatic yet dreamlike, enigmatic yet also deeply familiar. From familial histories to Lincoln's imperfect embalming, Marie Curie's radioactive notebook to an examination of the ache of quotidian objects, there is a wholly radiant center to this collection, a dazzling multiplicity of cities and citizens, losses and revelations. The domes of these pages--both funerary and celestial--are those in which the great poets sing."--Katherine Larson "Keplinger's voices accumulate to a rich texture, inflected by literature and travel. I've rarely stood back in such awe at a collection's ordering principles, its bone structure. These cities open their mouths and sing."--Sandra Beasley "I cherish and am grateful for these poems, for the way the sweep of them disturbs me out of my complacency, and although I'm not certain as to who it is who tells me these poems, who sometimes even sings these poems out loud so I can hear them rise above the noisy hubbub of our lives, I know that he is capable of a powerful wrenching of the past into the painfully clear light of knowing, and I know that he, this speaker, presents--or illustrates, really--a frighteningly familiar record of someone confronting the essence of who he is in the world in the middle of his life without any reaching for self-praise or even salvation."--Bruce Weigl "Within the places (somatic, textual, geographical) that house us and those that we house within us, David--frank, compressed, darkly witty, and never far from a sense of mythic wonder--makes clear that the purpose of a pilgrimage is to locate in any 'city' the profoundly humane citizenry of the isolato. '[D]eath is not the subject of our portrait. / It is, ' he writes in 'The City of Birth, ' 'the knowing you are seen, / it is the lighting of one's light, it is to take / a body, knowing you are not the body. / That's loneliness.' In what Keplinger calls, in another poem, 'our days of faithless translation, ' we are beyond lucky to have Keplinger interpreting our steps with ardent, articulate compassion."--Lisa Russ Spaar "Like Joseph Cornell's elegant and bewitching boxes, David Keplinger's poems are miniatures which reveal a universe. Although they begin in the quotidian, they are apt to end in revelation, made all the more resonant thanks to Keplinger's exacting metaphors and unerring command of free verse craft. Yet he also reminds us, again and again, that revelation is by no means easy to come by. As he writes in one of the poems, 'Now for the rest of your life / you are trying to be born / through a wound, ' a passage of Rilkean intensity which suggests that for Keplinger the stakes are very high indeed. Another City is his finest collection yet."--David Wojahn Praise for David Keplinger's Translation of The Art of Topiary "The Art of Topiary is a poetry collection of indescribable wonder. . . . David Keplinger's care in translating these from the original German never demands to be felt, and yet is inescapable. The Art of Topiary will stick with you long after its poems have been thoroughly devoured."--The Atlantic "David Keplinger's translation seems to rise out of a love of language that's almost mathematical in music and pace. Thus, each line is well made, composed of lyrical density and movement, and the reader experiences this--not as conceit, but as actual. Each poem feels alive with intention, teaching us how to listen to its music. Here control becomes part of meaning. The mechanics of nature--where the organic becomes metaphysical, or the natural sculpted--are primary to the collection. This masterful accretive affect works in The Art of Topiary. Jan Wagner's vision has been exacted with care and know-how as Keplinger carries into translation the truth of a gesture, and this is where poetry resides."--Yusef Komunyakaa Praise for The Most Natural Thing "Stunning and visceral . . . His prose is so well-crafted and compact that you'd think they wrote themselves into the world--that they were born complete and right on their due date, with no complications."--The Rumpus "Evocative and haunting, a meditation on memory and the body and desire. It is, for the most part, a very quiet book that relies less on big stunning moments than small details . . . The fact that there is so much movement between the poems and across the book is remarkable."--The Fiddleback "A tender, graceful, and profound meditation on the ways in which we experience our bodies in the world; shuttling expertly between the narrative and the lyric, the ordinary and the wild, the book asks us to envision the body as that lived intersection between, as Keplinger would have it, the natural and the natural."--Triquarterly "Somehow this clever magical poet's fervor brings to the page a splendor of humanism--the extension of wit, delight and cynicism. He's at the top of the heap of the originals."--Washington Independent Review of Books Praise for The Prayers of Others "The question is less whether Keplinger benefits from the prose poem than whether prose poetry benefits from Keplinger--a question The Prayers of Others answers with a resounding yes."--American Book Review "The sustained invention of a tinkerer who takes his materials (so many of them fragile, easily discarded or mislaid) to heart even as he finds his humor, his consolation in the spirited play of their arrangements."--Antioch Review