Nils Peterson

Nils Peterson

Nils Peterson is Professor Emeritus in English at San José State University. In 2009, he was chosen as the first Poet Laureate of Santa Clara County. He has published poetry, science fiction, and articles on subjects as varied as golf and Shakespeare. His chapbooks include Here Is No Ordinary Rejoicing, Driving a Herd of Moose to Durango, For This Day, The Revenge of the Socks, and For This Day II. A collection of poems, The Comedy of Desire, edited and introduced by Robert Bly, was published by The Blue Sofa Press. Other books include Water, Fire, Earth, & Air, Meditations and Poems on the Four Elements (San José, 2003), A Walk to the Center of Things (Caesura Editions, 2011), and a memoir Talk in the Reading Room (Wordrunner Press, 2014). In 2016, he published earth, water, fire, air a collection of poems each illustrated by a watercolor by Lorraine Chapparall. A new collection of poetry, All the Marvelous Stuff, was just published by the Poetry Center of San José (PCSJ). Coleman Barks called it, “intelligent, lonely, funny, and real.”


What did the Fellowship or Laureate mean to you at the time you received it?

What do you do now? Has your art evolved or changed?

What is one piece of advice you would give to an emerging artist?

Briefly, how would you describe the state of the arts locally, as well as national and beyond?