This powerful collection of poems by Richard Hoffman encompasses over a half century of living, from his childhood to his grandson’s childhood, from his early love of letters and words to his grandson reaching out with joy for a blank sheet of paper. In between, we see the accounting one must face with a parent, the shifting winds of marriage, the pith of life in even its smallest, most telling moments.
Release Date on April 15, 2017 from Barrow Street Press.
In Richard Hoffman’s long, complex title poem, which anchors his concerns throughout the book, he says with characteristic lucid candor:
“…now when longevity itself begins to seem at once
the only wealth worth having and the booby prize.”
It should be noted that Noon until Night is not a book about noon until evening. Yet the darkness that night suggests has its rays of hope in it, as Hoffman artfully meditates on how we live and, without sentimentality, manage to go on.
Poet and winner of The Pulitzer Prize
Mothers with newborns in knotted slings,
on their heads impossible towers of things,
the old in carts, the children by the hand,
these people crossing a cratered land
are more than metaphor;
but they are also metaphor.
We are the truth to one another. Continue reading “Selected Poems”
Richard Hoffman is the author of seven books, including the celebrated Half the House: a Memoir, published in a 20th Anniversary Edition last year, and the 2014 memoir Love & Fury. In addition to the volume, Interference and Other Stories, he has published four collections of poetry, Without Paradise; Gold Star Road, winner of the Barrow Street Press Poetry Prize and the Sheila Motton Award from The New England Poetry Club; Emblem; and Noon until Night, forthcoming in April. His work, both prose and verse, has been appearing regularly for the past forty years in such journals as Agni, Barrow Street, Consequence, Harvard Review, Hudson Review, The Literary Review, Poetry, Witness and elsewhere. A former Chair of Pen New England, he is Senior Writer in Residence at Emerson College. For more information visit RichardHoffman.org.
Hoffman is the poet traveling our nightmare of now, our descent into a lack of love for one another, but along the way he finds etchings of hope on the walls.
Richard Hoffman is a fiercely gifted poet whose stanzas revel in the infinite possibilities of language, and jolt, surprise, and satisfy at every turn. This is work to be savored and embraced.