Synopses & Reviews
“Untroubled authority . . . and the talent to make us weep.”—Dan Chiasson, Poetry
“He has written the most important poetic sequences published by an American poet during the last several decades. He is the most interesting American poet writing today, the least predictable and the most challenging.”—David Caplan, Pleiades
Legible Heavens explores what the most intimate forms of experience reveal about our most cosmic concerns. Its four sequences act like compass points to orient a human landscape.
The author of numerous books of poetry, criticism, and essay, H. L. Hix teaches at the University of Wyoming. His Chromatic was a finalist for the National Book Award.
"The latest from the prolific and ferociously intelligent Hix (Chromatic) again offers long sequences, complicated allusions to older works and a tumultuous focus on sexual love. The long, breathless lines and run-on sentences all over 'Star Chart for the Rainy Season' show the poet's wild self-reproach, prompted perhaps by the end of an affair or a marriage: 'I regret nothing having done nothing worth regret nothing reckless ever/ having realized so little of my will.' The much longer 'All the One-Eyed Boys in Town' strings together sonnet-sized units, each built around a small quote from another (usually contemporary) long poem (John Ashbery, Jim Harrison and Anne Carson all turn up), focused again on sexual love: 'While the victims freed themselves/ from birds and their absences,/ my body learned that the tips/ of your fingers regulate/ hurricanes.' Hix grows more vivid, and easier to follow, in the third set, a 12-page tour de force of one-sentence poems (each beginning 'If...' and including a 'then' or 'thus') juxtaposing erotic longing with the satisfaction in the visible world: 'wonder of sliced apple/ fed to me, dreamed storms, grass wet when I wake.' A quieter, concluding sequence about the life of Jesus offers fewer surprises, but may not weaken the overall force of this strange and fierce writer's seventh collection." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
New work from the National Book Award finalist.
About the Author
Harvey Lee Hix (born 1960), who signs his work H.L. Hix, is an American poet and academic. Hix is the author of books of poetry, criticism and essays and has been awarded a fellowship from the NEA. He has also won the KCAI Teaching Excellence Award, and the T.S. Eliot Prize for Poetry (from Truman State University Press in Missouri, no relation to the more famous prize in Britain). In 2006 he was a finalist for the National Book Award for Poetry. He is a professor and the director of the creative writing MFA program at the University of Wyoming.