Currently working on a biography of Ingeborg Bachmann for Yale University Press, Peter Filkins is the author of five books of poems, What She Knew (1998), After Homer (2002), Augustine’s Vision (2010), The View We’re Granted (2012), co-winner of the Sheila Motton Best Book Award from the New England Poetry Club, and Water / Music (2021). The recipient of a Berlin Prize Fellowship from The American Academy in Berlin, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a Fulbright/IFK Senior Fellowship, he is also the translator of Ingeborg Bachmann’s collected poems, Darkness Spoken (2006), as well as her novels, The Book of Franza and Requiem for Fanny Goldmann (1999). In addition, he has translated H.G. Adler’s novels The Journey (2008), Panorama (2011), and The Wall (2014), and in 2019 published his biography, H.G. Adler: A Life in Many Worlds. He has been awarded the Stover Prize in Poetry from Southwest Review, the New American Press Chapbook Award, as well as fellowships from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, Yaddo, MacDowell, the Millay Colony for the Arts, the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Hawthornden Castle, Jentel, and the Deutsches Literaturarchiv – Marbach. Previously he was the recipient of a Fulbright grant to Austria, an Outstanding Translation Award from the American Literary Translators Association, a Distinguished Translation Award from the Austrian government, a DAAD Faculty Research Fellowship, a fellowship at the Leon Levy Center for Biography at the CUNY Graduate Center, and two National Endowment for the Humanities fellowships. In spring of 2012, he was writer-in-residence at the James Merrill House. His work has appeared in numerous publications, including The New York Times Book Review, Poetry, The Paris Review, The New Republic, The American Scholar, and the Los Angeles Times Book Review. He teaches writing and literature at Bard College at Simon’s Rock, and translation at Bard’s main campus in Annandale, NY.
Praise for Peter Filkins’s poems:
Peter Filkins’s deeply moving collection The View We’re Grantedis framed by two stands of trees: birches that are cut down and maples that “rouse a meadow to swaying life again.” In between Filkins traces out the rhythms of loss and renewal, of childhood and adulthood, in a blank verse so skillfully worked it seems effortless, ranging from the tenderly amusing “Requiem for the Body Snatchers” to the strongly felt but clear-eyed elegy for his sister, “Marking Time.” Very few poets today write with such power and assurance.
“Peter Filkins manages to use form to lure the colloquial toward song, as well as to invest moments of song with an awareness of the perils and possibilities of our everyday world. It’s a tension that is revelatory, and one that claims, at the end, the power of poetry to survive, and to help us.”
“Peter Filkins’ poems, like the speed skaters he describes in his ars poeticaof that title, grip the ice of real worlds, some contemporary and intimate (a sister’s death), some historical and imagined in loving and concrete precision in the poems conjuring Wilfred Owen and John Constable. He’s a poet of waterfalls, as entranced by flow as by enduring pattern; and a poet, too, of the boulder in the stream, “the mute immediate lug of it.” His subtle art touches the pulse of both sorrow and praise.
“As one who hailed Peter Filkins’s stunning first book, I am happy to say that its great promise has been realized with The View We’re Granted.”
“Peter Filkins’ beautifully articulated, reticulated poems are filled with questions, and the questions they’re filled with are the unanswerable ones. Their distinction and power lie in their ability to make us ask those questions, too, as if for the first time.”