Mary Peelen


Mary Peelen, M.Div., MFA, is a writer who lives in San Francisco and Paris. Her poetry, fiction, and nonfiction have appeared in The Massachusetts ReviewBeloit Poetry JournalMichigan Quarterly Review, Harvard Divinity BulletinPoetry Review (UK), and other journals. Her poetry collection, Quantum Heresies, won the 2019 Kithara Book Prize.

New Short Fiction:

The Talented Higgs Boson / New Critique 


Poetry of Logical Ideas in The Adroit Journal / Interview by Gizem Karaali

Interview with Mary Peelen & Susan Rich / Tinderbox Poetry Journal 

10 Questions for Mary Peelen The Massachusetts Review

TPQ5: Mary Peelen  / Interview by The Poetry Question


Reviews of QUANTUM HERESIES: poems by Mary Peelen

Poetry Northwest  Reviewed by Jenna Le

The Adroit Journal  Reviewed by Deborah Bacharach

Quantum Heresies  Reviewed by Brian Clegg

The Journal of the Chinese Academy of Sciences  Book Review

The Cortland Review Reviewed by Kim Jacobs-Beck

The Rupture (previously The Collagist) Reviewed by Anne Graue 

The Literary Review Reviewed by Heather Lang

Angelus Reviewed by Nick Ripatrazone

The Alchemist’s Kitchen  Reviewed by Susan Rich 

RHINO  Reviewed by Donna Vorreyer

Psaltery & Lyre Reviewed by Risa Denenberg 


> Quantum Heresies: The TRAILER (YouTube, 2 mins). A beautiful short film by writer, artist, filmmaker Amanda Davidson. Music by Isaac Schankler.



In these lithe, contemplative poems, Mary Peelen faces the complexities of life—and death—and works to solve them. Peelen’s mind is a wonder to inhabit; she leaps effortlessly between world and interior, calculation and metaphor, so gracefully that each conclusion feels as though it can be the only correct answer, the sole solution. If anyone can manage the math to or from the divine, it’s this poet.  —Leila Chatti, author of Tunsiya/Amrikiya

Mary Peelen’s spare poems pulse with what they contain and describe—in both the imagistic and the mathematical sense of the word—harnessing the power of the sciences to navigate the chthonic worlds of illness, loss, and desire on both personal and planetary scales. Peelen denies the divisions of mind and body, art and science, precision and ardor. Her poems resonate with allusion (Lady Lazarus’s hair as a supernova) and sound (copernicium, ununoctium). Peelen unveils new ways to make sense of our complicated, contradictory world.  —Elizabeth Bradfield, naturalist and author of Toward Antarctica 

Mary Peelen‘s poems use the vocabulary of physics to tell a story. Just as there are patterns in nature, Peelen creates patterns of language through repetition and parallelism. She moves suddenly and seamlessly between the ethereal world of science and the everyday world: “Optimistic as Midwestern girls,” she writes, “we  dreamt of quantum entanglement,/ our cliquish leap into brilliance/ about as probable as photon emission.”
Radar Poetry



Poems Online:

Prophecy / Verse Daily

Prognosis / Harvard Divinity Bulletin

Confessions / The Minnesota Review 

String Theory / The Poetry Review (UK)

Universal Law / Alaska Quarterly Review

Aphasia / Beloit Poetry Journal 

Negative One / Guesthouse

One / Harvard Divinity Bulletin

Ontology / Pleiades

Ecstatic Syllabi: Four Poems / The Journal of Humanistic Mathematics

Hemicrania / Valparaiso Poetry Review

Supernova / Radar Poetry

Interim / Baltimore Review

Thermodynamics / Radar Poetry

Variable / The Massachusetts Review

Birds of Japan / Tinderbox Poetry Journal

Chaos Theory / Radar Poetry

Mandelbrot Set / Radar Poetry

Infinite Gravity / Radar Poetry

Quantum Theory / Radar Poetry

Periodic Table of the Elements / Antioch Review

Aphasia / Poetry Daily

Barometer / Deaf Poets Society

Aurora Borealis / Deaf Poets Society

Migraine / Michigan Quarterly Review

Zero / Michigan Quarterly Review

Awake / The Poetry Review (UK)

x / Alaska Quarterly Review

dx / Alaska Quarterly Review

Fault / New American Writing

Remembrance / New American Writing

Properties of Light / Barrow Street Journal

Proof / Psaltery & Lyre

Sunday Morning / Psaltery & Lyre


Poetry of Logical Ideas in The Adroit Journal / Interview by Gizem Karaali

Interview with Mary Peelen & Susan Rich / Tinderbox Poetry Journal 

10 Questions for Mary PeelenThe Massachusetts Review

TPQ5: Mary Peelen  / Interview by The Poetry Question


Godsend / Gulf Coast


Evidence / Redivider Issue 15.2

Stagecraft / The Shell Game (Anthology) edited by Kim Adrian

Draw / Bennington Review

Sarong / Women in Clothes edited by Sheila Heti et al


Tunsiya/Amrikiya by Leila Chatti / Hyacinth Girl Press

Aileron by Geraldine Connolly / Whale Road Review

Camera by Maxine Chernoff / Interim: A Journal of Poetry and Poetics


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