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Grace (Pitt Poetry Series) Paperback – August 7, 2006

5.0 out of 5 stars 4 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

”Eclectic, introverted, and original. His voice, with all its commercialisms and idiosyncrasies, is distinct and sincere; his experience is authentic and compensatory. He accomplishes the most a poet can hope for.”
--
Sahara

Hodgen has penned amasterful work that has left me deeply moved.
--Wilderness House Literary Review



“Hodgen’s poems countermand the dictates of mass culture that impress upon readers images of airbrushed and Photoshopped perfection. [His] assembled imager of the common aspects of life . . . reflect the sublime sense of grace one can attain by paying close attention to the most familiar things.”
--ForeWord

“The poems in Grace are energetic and intelligent. At their best, they manifest the kind of eloquence and spaciousness in the poetry by Walt Whitman and C. K. Williams. Here the poet shows us a world shaded by darkness and fractured by violence, but not devoid of the light of hope and dream. This is a voice that speaks directly from the heart.” 
—Ha Jin



“John Hodgen’s beautiful book is a reminder that the elegiac exists not to invoke sadness, but to open and, finally, celebrate our shared experience of the great depth of feeling loss reveals in us.  Few poets have rung this bell with the silver and loving precision to be found in Grace.  Poem after poem is so charged with affectionate clarity that the whole book breaks, like a wave, toward a kind of atonement.”
—Christopher Howell



“John Hodgen’s Grace presents an operatic cast that includes Abraham Lincoln, the poet’s family, Harpo Marx, Boris Karloff, Boxcar Willie, and Garbo—to name a few—and a wide range of settings from Fenway Park in Boston, to Florence and Rome, to ‘backwoods Tennessee’ and the ‘Coolawhatchie Blimpie Gas n’ Go.’  Through lively diction and skillful work with form, Hodgen turns zaniness to tenderness; loneliness to joy. This surprising, welcome book of poems is full of thanksgiving, charm, and much good grace.”
—Maggie Anderson



“Hard and dark as the world of these poems often is, Hodgen manages again and again to somehow transform the crucified world into a dazzling vortex of language and syntax and yet authentic shivelights of grace. Here is a unique and unmistakable voice for our moment.”
—Paul Mariani

From the Back Cover

"The poems in Grace are energetic and intelligent. At their best, they manifest the kind of eloquence and spaciousness in the poetry by Walt Whitman and C. K. Williams. Here the poet shows us a world shaded by darkness and fractured by violence, but not devoid of the light of hope and dream. This is a voice that speaks directly from the heart." --Ha Jin

"John Hodgen's Grace presents an operatic cast that includes Abraham Lincoln, the poet's family, Harpo Marx, Boris Karloff, Boxcar Willie, and Garbo-to name a few-and a wide range of settings from Fenway Park in Boston, to Florence and Rome, to 'backwoods Tennessee' and the 'Coolawhatchie Blimpie Gas n' Go.' Through lively diction and skillful work with form, Hodgen turns zaniness to tenderness; loneliness to joy. This surprising, welcome book of poems is full of thanksgiving, charm, and much good grace." --Maggie Anderson

"John Hodgen's beautiful book is a reminder that the elegiac exists not to invoke sadness, but to open and, finally, celebrate our shared experience of the great depth of feeling loss reveals in us. Few poets have rung this bell with the silver and loving precision to be found in Grace. Poem after poem is so charged with affectionate clarity that the whole book breaks, like a wave, toward a kind of atonement." --Christopher Howell

"Hard and dark as the world of these poems often is, Hodgen manages again and again to somehow transform the crucified world into a dazzling vortex of language and syntax and yet authentic shivelights of grace. Here is a unique and unmistakable voice for our moment." --Paul Mariani

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ University of Pittsburgh Press; 1st edition (August 7, 2006)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 72 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0822959321
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0822959328
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 4.8 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6.13 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    5.0 out of 5 stars 4 ratings

About the author

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JOHN HODGEN is visiting assistant

professor of English at Assumption College,

Worcester, MA.

He is the author of three previous books of

poetry: In My Father's House, winner of the

Bluestem Award; Bread Without Sorrow,

winner of the Balcones Poetry Prize; and

Grace, winner of the AWP Donald Hall Prize in

Poetry. Hodgen is the recipient of numerous

other awards, including the Foley Poetry

Prize, the Ruth Stone Poetry Prize, the Grolier

Prize, an Arvon Foundation Award, and the

Chad Walsh Prize in Poetry.

Heaven & Earth Holding Company (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2010)

John Hodgen

"Heaven & Earth Holding Company contains a plentitude of delights. Like little stories

told in the night, these poems are clear narratives crossed by mysterious shadows. And

Hodgen's tone occupies a singular place at the intersection of funky wit and true feeling."

--Billy Collins

"It is amazing how quickly John Hodgen's poems can somersault from hilarity to broken

hope, from mousetraps to mantraps to everything we have yearned for filled to the eyeballs

with the peril of mortal love. And he does it while tiptoeing along the very edge of

a kind of open-handed formality not seen in our poetry for a long time, a formality always

threatening to break, and sometimes indeed breaking, beautifully, under the weight of

feeling on the one hand and truth on the other. This is a remarkable book."

--Christopher Howell

"These are wise, wisecracking poems that rue and mock our human failings, but always

preserve and honor our humanness. I am grateful for the deeply spiritual and allembracing

expanse of these poems that cherish the beautiful mess of our lives with

humor and compassion. Here is an art that knows how we stumble, 'one endless mistake

after another,' into 'the heart's true song.'"

--Robert Cording

On Bethlehem's Plain

They are sending her home for Christmas, back to Nickel Mines,

the last of the Amish girls hospitalized in the shootings.

She will ride all the way in the ambulance from Philadelphia,

look out the window past the blue reversed caduceus, the serpent and staff,

see the holiday travelers, the last-minute shoppers, the exits backed up at the malls.

She will look, unblinking, at the other children, grim, who will look back at her

from the rusty, elongated church vans with names like Hope and Free and Grace Evangelical.

She will see the pale school buses lined up in the lots, empty as barns in the spring.

She will see the convoys of soldiers, hunters in trucks, then the long, feathered fields,

the different grasses, still green somehow, the weather so warm. She will see the shepherds,

the horse carts, and the walkers, like Sadducees, their beards lifting up in the wind.

She will see the school's been torn down. She will close her eyes but she will see it still,

the single room she continues to attend, the blood on the walls like holly.

She is coming to us, and she knows everything, the child coming back to be born.

She will never believe. She will not believe kings, will not wish on any scattered star.

She has seen a few things. She knows who we are.

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