ECKLEBURG BOOK CLUB | The Richard Peabody Reader


Peabody Reader


The Richard Peabody Reader edited by Lucinda Ebersole

Peabody’s steadfast dedication to that which is new, challenging, innovative and dynamic has won him a wide reputation among writers whose work he has championed. This volume demonstrates those same values, embodied in nearly four decades of fiercely smart, sophisticated, and often very funny writing. From his first collection of poems, I’m in Love With the Morton Salt Girl, to his most recent collection of short stories, Blue Suburban Skies, Peabody has established and developed a thoroughly unique voice, both warm and piercing, to deliver content that ranges from the hilarious, as in the short story “Flea Wars,” to the bittersweet, as in the poem “The Other Man is Always French,” to the elegiac, as in the poem in “Civil War Pieta,” to the absurd, as in the rollicking farce of the short story, “Bad Day at Ikea.”

Peabody’s aesthetic is all-embracing – strands of punk, beat, experimental, feminist, and political protest literary influences blend with the purely romantic to create a body of work that is both profound and pleasing. A writer who never plays it safe, Peabody writes with the urgency of one who thinks that any day might be his last, and with the insights of a life fully lived. Whether addressing fatherhood or unjust wars, unrequited love or suburban malaise, Peabody delivers, with both freshness and gravitas, important information about life as we live it now.

The collection was edited by Lucinda Ebersole, a writer and scholar who has worked with Peabody on several anthologies as well as many issues of Gargoyle, and who applied a deep knowledge the author’s writing and career to the task. A substantive introduction by Michael Dirda, a Pulitzer Prize-winning literary critic, puts Peabody in his rightful place as a great and influential American man of letters, while an accompanying timeline provides important information about Peabody’s life and accomplishments in literature.


Publisher Information

  • Paperback: 500 pages
  • Publisher: Santa Fe Writer’s Project (April 1, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-13: 978-0984832989



PeabodyRichard Peabody is the founder and current editor of Gargoyle Magazine, now on its 61st issue, and editor (or co-editor) of twenty-two anthologies including Mondo Barbie, Conversations with Gore Vidal, and A Different Beat: Writings by Women of the Beat Generation. The author of a novella, three short story collections, and seven books of poetry. A native Washingtonian, he has taught fiction writing workshops at various locations in the DC area since 1985, though primarily for the Johns Hopkins Advanced Studies Program since 1995 where he was awarded The Johns Hopkins University Excellence in Teaching Award, 2010-2011, and the Faculty Award for Outstanding Professional Achievement (Master of Arts in Writing Program), 2005. He has held residencies at Blue Mountain Center, Byrdcliffe, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. He also won the Beyond the Margins “Above & Beyond Award” for 2013.

Lucinda Ebersole is a critic, an editor, and a fiction writer best known for her association with the literary journal Gargoyle Magazine, for which she has been coeditor along with Richard Peabody since 1997. She has also edited various anthologies with Peabody, most notably the various books in their Mondo series.


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Eckleburg is a print and online literary journal that offers original fiction, poetry, essays, music, art, writing workshops and more.