Convenient Danger

About Craig Van Riper:

Craig Van Riper was born in Paterson, New Jersey in 1962 and earned a B.S. degree from Cornell University. He has presented his poetry throughout the United States as well as on both television and radio, including a guest feature on the NBC Today Show and syndications on London, Hong Kong and Japan radio networks. Van Riper has received wide recognition for his work, including the Seattle Arts Commission Seattle Artists Award, a King County Arts Commission Honorarium, and selection as finalist for The Nation Discovery Prize. His first collection of poems, Making the Path While You Walk (Sagittarius Press), was published in 1993. Van Riper serves as Contributing Editor of San Francisco’s Five Fingers Review and resides in Seattle.

To learn more about Craig Van Riper, do visit his WEB site.

Pecan Grove Press

Convenient Danger
Craig Van Riper


ISBN: 1-877603-62-7

About Craig Van Riper's Poetry:

“Van Riper’s poetry is sly and eloquent. A strong Zen ethos — an eloquence for economy — permeates all the poems yet without adhering to any traditional koan or Oriental poetic convention. What makes Van Riper’s work distinctly American is its thinly disguised sense of danger and deadpan humor. Making the Path While You Walk is both very accessible and totally uncompromising. I look forward to seeing more in the future.”

—Clayton Hughes Talking Raven

“Strong poems, all sure voiced and crafted, each word barbed, each line pointed, going hard for the end of the poem/the beginning of its meaning.”

—Crag Hill

“Craig Van Riper moves his way among the cracks and stillness to small struggling births and the soon following thirsts. Vacillating between despair and reconciliation, these poems make their way through dimly lit rooms and dark harbors, learning and leaning into the confused waters of love and endings. Taking the guise of lover, both enraptured and lost, onward to the dream of vengeance, these poems traverse issues and beds many of us have lain in, with an exposing knife sharp and able.”

—Fionn Meade, Elliott Bay Booknotes

The Pecan Grove Press Winter 2000 National Chapbook Competition Winner

Working It Out

Start with a question? No.
Say nothing. We walk
Down by the lake.
Take all our clothes off
Without touching each other
Too hard. Cracked mud.
The lake’s but a puddle
Of pickerel. We drape the long ones
Around our necks. Fish fur.
You massage the shiny
Mucus into my temples,
Buttocks. “Fish oil is
A good source of vitamin A.”
Only the known is debatable.
Say nothing. We traverse
The muck to the cattails, slip
Into each other, then come
Back home.


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November 11, 2003

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