Unlock the self through verse. Ian Cook’s poetic odyssey traces silence to speech, forging connection through language, sound, and symbols. A journey of growth, mental health, and resonating authenticity.

At his core, Ian Cook is a mutt. An amalgamation of many things – different races, Swedish/German patronage, Chinese-Indonesian matronage, raised internationally. An in-between, a hybrid being, flowing, swimming, a life in and out of water, amphibious. He is a collection of multitudes, many selves, many-masks, anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, sleeplessness, and dreams that don’t end. He receives waves, whispers, and frequencies from beyond and translates them into Art, Music, and Poetry. Ian Cook is the author of Vishuddha, a collection of poetry that deals with communication, what it is, and how the individual does it: by speaking, singing, screaming, writing, drawing, expressing, playing, by communing with All. He has had work featured in online and print journals such as Snarl Journal, KU’s Kiosk Magazine, Avatar Review, and others. Ian lives, writes, draws, sings, and plays in Lawrence, Kansas, with his partner Maddie, pups Mildred, and Cordelia, and rats Remy, and Grandpa.

Praise for Vishuddha

“I suggest that you do not hasten through the pages of this collection. Instead, invite the faculties of mind, body, and spirit to approach these verses with undisturbed devotion. Permit every syllable to shape itself within your mouth, moving from your lips, savoring, and absorbing the potency of purpose, intertwining with those recesses within, yearning for acknowledgment through multidimensional consciousness.” —Alaya Mira Anonda (August 20th, 2023)

“Cook’s new book is penned with the intimate gentle candor of diary entries, but with the universal touch and appeal of a Whitman poem. Cook’s words are cosmic, but near, as Whitman put it “for every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.” Written with care and grace (and panache and energy), Vishuddha is a delight: savory, but sweet. And the book marks the beginning of a great career, as Emerson once wrote to Whiteman. Let us welcome Cook and this brilliant book full of starshine and the body. “ —Kevin Rabas, More Than Words, Past Poet Laureate of Kansas

“Ian Peterson Cook’s Vishudda inks poetic tapestry in gestural strokes, invoking the troubled body, the haunted landscape, and the rabid cosmic. With concise abstraction and nomadic precision, Cook brings together the Kansas prairie and family, solitude and unusual communion in this divining collection. Vishudda is a gem from a multi-talented artist and poet.” — Chloe Seim, Author of Churn, Winner of the 2022 George Garrett Fiction Prize

“Vishuddha is the Sanskrit name for the fifth chakra (or focal point, used in meditation), located in the throat. It is related to communication, self-expression, creativity and personal truth, all of which I found in Ian Cook’s first book of poems. … The final section of Cook’s book, “Crow Bone Crown” is as intense and demanding as W. S. Merwin’s poetry, and, if you work at it, just as rewarding … There’s an intensity and beauty to the language that I enjoyed on every page. . . . These poems lead you to the edge of things then invite you to step over. … This is a poet who pays attention to the world, listens and tries to find language to convey what he hears about the way that life and death are inextricably linked. He ends “Tawny” with: “I can’t stand in an empty room for long/without listening to the bones.” . . . if you’re prepared to go on the journey with the poet as your guide, you will learn plenty, including new ways of seeing and experiencing the world. This is poetry that is in Cook’s eloquent words, “realizing the godself and making it known,” and I couldn’t help being reminded of Walt Whitman, who was, in Leaves of Grass, making his godself known in such a remarkable way.” —Brian Daldorph, editor of Coal City Review. His most recent books of poetry are Ice Age/Edad de Hielo (Irrupciones P, 2017), Blue Notes (Dionysia P, 2019), and Kansas Poems (Meadowlark P, 2021).

“… Within the pages of this remarkable collection, Cook weaves together a tapestry of vivid imagery and profound introspection, inviting readers to embark on an extraordinary journey. With each turn of the page, you’ll find yourself drawn further into the beguiling world Cook has crafted, where reality shimmers and dreams take flight. Whether you’re seeking insight into your own innermost thoughts or simply craving an escape into a realm of boundless imagination, this collection promises to be a compelling, transformative, and unforgettable journey into the heart and mind of a remarkable poet.” — SJ Hazim, Topeka Community Activator

“Cook’s individual poems, bound into his book, Vishuddha, hold true to their intent. Here is an intellectual poet, a seeker, someone who communications brilliantly, and speaks his personal truth. Cook has put together a profound book.” —Ronda Miller, author of five poetry books including MoonStain, and the award winning children’s book, I Love the Child.


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