David Alpaugh

David Alpaugh holds degrees in English from Rutgers University and the University of California at Berkeley, where he was both a Woodrow Wilson and Ford Foundation fellow. More than 200 of his poems have been published in literary journals, including Able Muse, American Journal of Poetry, Evergreen Review, Exquisite Corpse, Mudlark, Poetry, Rattle, Spillway, Scene4, and ZYZZYVA. His essays on “Po-Biz” (in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Poets & Writers Magazine, and Rattle) have been much discussed online.

Alpaugh’s first full collection of poems, Counterpoint, won the Nicholas Roerich Poetry Prize from Story Line Press. His second collection, Heavy Lifting, was published by Alehouse Press in 2007, and his latest, Spooky Action at a Distance, by Word Galaxy Press (an imprint of Able Muse Press) in 2020. He is one of fifty contemporary poets included in the Heyday Press anthology California Poetry from the Gold Rush to the Present, and he has been a finalist for Poet Laureate of California.

A popular performer noted for his humor and dramatic flair, Alpaugh has been a featured reader more than one hundred times at California bookstores, cafés, poetry societies, and other venues. He lives in the San Francisco Bay and teaches poetry at the University of California Berkeley Extension and for The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at their Cal State East Bay campus.

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David Alpaugh

Publication Date: April 27, 2021


Counterpoint, the first full collection of poems by David Alpaugh, was selected out of over 800 manuscripts for the seventh annual Nicholas Roerich Poetry Prize by Story Line Press in 1994. The subjects of the book’s contemporary, witty, bizarre, and often moving poems range from POWs and salespeople to art and the dead. Alpaugh’s works speak to one another—child to adult, animal to human, ad man to poet, New Jersey to California, and past to present. He writes with affection and care for each of these points of unlikely connection. Harold Witt called Alpaugh “a unique voice to hear now and to listen for in the future.” More than twenty-five years after Counterpoint’s initial publication, these words ring more true than ever.

Tradepaper: $20 / ISBN: 9781586540708
Casebound: $30 / ISBN: 9781586540913