About Me

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Nancy Simpson's LIVING ABOVE THE FROST LINE, New and Selected Poems was published by Carolina Wren Press (N.C. Laureate Series, 2010.) She is the author of ACROSS WATER and NIGHT STUDENT, State Street Press, still available on WWW at Alibris and Books Again. Her poems have been published in Southern Poetry Review, Prairie Schooner, The Georgia Review and other literary magazines. "Carolina Bluebirds" was published in THE POETS GUIDE TO THE BIRDS, Anhinga Press). "Grass" was reprinted in the 50th Anniversary Issue of Southern Poetry Review: DON'T LEAVE HUNGRY ( U.of Arkansas Press.) Seven poems were reprinted in the textbook, SOUTHERN APPALACHIAN POETRY,(McFarland.) Two poems were published in SOLO CAFE, Two more poems were published in SOLO NOVO."In the Nantahala Gorge" was published in Pisgah Review. "Studying Winter" was reprinted in Pirene's Fountain Anthology and "The Collection" in Collecting Life Anthology. Most recently, Southern Poetry Review Edited by James Smith, published "Our Great Depression," and The Southern Poetry Anthology Vol. VII: NORTH CAROLINA,Edited by William Wright, reprinted "Leaving in the Dead of Winter."

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Bio - Poet Heather McHugh

Congratulations Heather

Heather McHugh was born in California in 1948 and raised in rural Virginia. She entered Harvard University at the age of 16, where she took a seminar with Robert Lowell and had her first poem published in The New Yorker. “My whole work is to catch the word by surprise, sneaking up on language, sneaking up on the world as it lurks in words,” McHugh said. “I love the recesses of reason. That’s a great place to set my mind at rest.”

Exuding a love of language, wit, and observation, McHugh creates poems that are profoundly intelligent. Through the use of puns, rhymes, and syntactical twists, her work is an ongoing inquiry into the ways language can aid and impede participation in life. “I write because I want to find out what was bothering me . . . I’m not sure what it is that wants to be said, but I’m there to be its scribe,” says McHugh. “Almost always I’ve seen some pattern. Then comes a rocking and a humming. I find language to document that play of patterns in the world.”

In her book The Father of the Predicaments (1999), McHugh takes her cue from Aristotle, who wrote that “the father of the predicaments is being.” The book opens with a long poem about a loved-one dying and the limits of speech: “What did she mean? All I can call upon/is words—unsatisfactory to say/the least—a nomen always aiming/for amen, a pupil meaning/well, pre-emptively.”

McHugh’s honors include two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Griffin Poetry Prize, and a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship. In 1999 she was elected a Chancellor of The Academy of American Poets. McHugh is Milliman Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at the University of Washington in Seattle. She frequently teaches as Visiting Professor at the Writers' Workshop in Iowa and has held chairs at the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Alabama, and the University of Cincinnati.

Selected Works
Dangers (1977)
A World of Difference (1981)
To the Quick (1987)
Shades (1988)
Hinge & Sign: Poems 1968-1993 (1994)
Broken English: Poetry and Partiality, essays (1993)
The Father of the Predicaments (1999)
Glottal Stop: 101 Poems of Paul Celan, translation with Nikolai Popov (2000)
Cyclops, Euripides, translation (2000)


Joan Ellen Gage said...

I am very impressed with Heather McHugh, and humbled. How does one compare with that talent?

Nancy Simpson said...

Thanks for the comment Jane. I count myself lucky to have known Heather McHugh and that I had the chance to work one to one with her for two years. She is one of the most original human beings I've known.