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Kicking Gravity
February 2013

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the weight of dandelions
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American Paprika

Peter Gloviczki

ISBN: 978-1-910669-31-0

Page Count: 80

Publication Date: Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Cover Artwork: © Maddy007 | - Earth Globe On Black Photo

About this Book

These poems reach across the human experience in search of the concrete and the sublime. Taken together, these poems seek to explore an experience that is uniquely American and yet resonates with individuals around the world. The title of the collection, American Paprika, invites the reader to embrace the blend of people, places and things that typifies what it means to be American, at home and abroad. Inviting dialogue across cultures, traditions and geographies, these poems ask as many questions as they might answer, holding true to the notion that each day is an opportunity to learn new things, while also recognizing the core values that instill in us a sense of place. From Eastern Europe and across the United States of America, these poems seek to invite a call and response with individuals around the United States and throughout the world. This book is centered in the belief that giving voice to one’s hopes and dreams is both a source of excitement and a profound calling. Exploring the particulars of everyday life, these poems seek real-world knowledge through first-hand experiences. American Paprika engages the allure of travel and the comforts of finding a way home.

“These captivating poems work so well because they begin in a life like yours and mine (“simple things freak me out”), then zoom off to the adorable (“Mortimer was an invisible goat who lived under my bed”) and the touching (a middle-schooler weeping at the Science Museum when he hears about the Kennedy assassination). And then they come back to the mundane, even the annoying (“people with kids will talk about their kids”) before taking off again. How lucky we are to have this book! Singly, each poem is a tight little parable. Together, they tell you everything you need to know about our sweet, baffling species.”

David Kirby

Author Biography

Peter Joseph Gloviczki is a teacher, a communication researcher and a poet. His poems have appeared in Hayden’s Ferry Review, New Orleans Review, The Christian Science Monitor, Verse Daily and elsewhere. American Paprika is his second book of poems. He is also the author of Kicking Gravity (Salmon Poetry, 2013). He works as an assistant professor of communication at Coker College in Hartsville, South Carolina, where he also serves as coordinator of the communication program. His first scholarly book is Journalism and Memorialization in the Age of Social Media (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015). His scholarly journal articles have appeared or are forthcoming in Health Communication, Humanity and Society, Journal of Loss and Trauma and The Qualitative Report. He holds a PhD and an MA in Mass Communication from the University of Minnesota, and he is a magna cum laude graduate of St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota.

Read a sample from this book


There is a town in Hungary that is three miles away from the Austrian border. In the winter of 1956, mothers held hands with their sons and daughters and ran as fast as they could. When you asked where they were going, all they said was away. It didn't matter where they had been, that wasn't the point anymore. The point, as far as anyone actually knew, was to keep breathing. Husbands had gone into hiding, pressed a couple forints into their wives palms, and then went off to keep breathing. Now, it was up to the wives to keep breathing, too. Mothers, of course, had the added burden of making sure their kids kept breathing. So they ran, and to make sure they stayed together, they held hands.


We met for coffee and talked about nothing over onion rings; it was just what we needed. Then we ordered curly fries and shared Kennedy stories. I was on my 8th grade field trip to the Science Museum. You were hanging streamers in the high school gym before a pep rally. We both cried when we heard the news. I was in front of the dinosaur exhibit as I watched the bones go blurry: you dropped a pair of scissors and heard them hit the gym floor.

How It Happened

I met you with the bowl of oranges half-empty on the kitchen table, light found your face through the open window: the sun came to rest in blue porcelain filling the bowl to its brim.

Copyright © Peter J. Gloviczki 2016

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