Eric Pankey

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Eric Pankey
head shot of bearded poet with rimless glasses and buttoned down shirt
Eric Pankey at 2015 National Book Festival
Born1959 (1959) (age 59)
OccupationPoet, artist

Eric Pankey (born 1959 in Kansas City, Missouri) is an American poet and artist. He is married to the poet Jennifer Atkinson (born 1955).

Pankey's poetry has moved from the literal and narrative as in _Heartwood,_ towards the suggestiveness of Emerson, without the hopefulness implicit in Emerson's transcendentalism. In Pankey's poems, often written in free verse forms or in prose poetry, the hint of grand comprehensiveness is suggested, without the hope of absorption into a universalizing or redemptive whole. The result, as in his "Souvenir de Voyage" (2015 in Verse)—an implied answer to Baudelaire's "Invitation au Voyage," is a glimpse of redemption from which the speaker of the poems, and thus the reader, is blocked, a promise unfulfilled and perhaps unfulfillable. Behind this urge lies a religious impulse that may remind a reader of T. S. Eliot. Yet the persistence of the seeking separates Pankey from Samuel Beckett; he remains on the closer side of despair.


He graduated with a BA from the University of Missouri in 1981 and in 1983, his MFA from Iowa University.[1] In 1987, after teaching English at the high school level and writing poetry, he became the director of the Creative Writing Program at Washington University in St. Louis.[2] He currently teaches at George Mason University.[3] He lives with his wife and daughter in Fairfax, Virginia.[1]

His work has appeared in Antioch Review,[4] Antaeus,[5] Denver Quarterly,[6] Seneca Review,[7] Quarry West,[8] and AGNI.[9] His papers are held at the Washington University library.[10]







  1. ^ a b "Eric Pankey | Academy of American Poets". Retrieved 2015-04-08.
  2. ^ Brodeur, Brian (9 Jan 2009). "Eric Pankey". How A poem Happens.
  3. ^ Jeb Livingood (October 2002). "The Voice of Eric Pankey".
  4. ^ Kingsley, J.D. (2005). The Antioch Review. Antioch Review, Incorporated. ISSN 0003-5769. Retrieved 2015-04-08.
  5. ^ Halpern, D. (1989). Antaeus 63: Autumn 1989. HarperCollins Publishers. ISBN 9780880012263. Retrieved 2015-04-08.
  6. ^ University of Denver (1992). Denver Quarterly. University of Denver. ISSN 0011-8869. Retrieved 2015-04-08.
  7. ^ Hobart Student Association; Hobart College; William Smith College; William Smith Student Association (1984). The Seneca Review. Hobart Student Association. ISSN 0037-2145. Retrieved 2015-04-08.
  8. ^ University of California, Santa Cruz. College V.; Porter College (University of California, Santa Cruz) (1990). Quarry West. Quarry West. ISSN 0736-4628. Retrieved 2015-04-08.
  9. ^ "AGNI Online: Author Eric Pankey". Retrieved 2015-04-08.
  10. ^ "Eric Pankey, 1959-. American author". Archived from the original on 2004-08-15. Retrieved 2015-04-08.
  11. ^ "Eric Pankey - John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation". Archived from the original on 2011-06-03. Retrieved 2015-04-08.
  12. ^ National Endowment for the Arts. "NEA Writers' Corner: Eric Pankey". Archived from the original on 2008-09-17. Retrieved 2015-04-09.

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