Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The year winds down.... This poem is from the new collection, EMBLEM.


All my undone actions wander
naked across the calendar,

a band of skinny hunter-gatherers,
blown snow scattered here and there,

stumbling toward a future
folded in the New Year I secure

with a pushpin: January’s picture
a painting from the 17th century,

a still-life: skull and mirror,
spilled coinpurse and a flower.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Publication Day! EMBLEM

My new collection of poems, EMBLEM, is now available from Barrow Street Press. Poems from this collection appear online at Janus Head, here, and here, at Agni, here, and here, and at Solstice Literary Magazine, here, and here.

It will also be available from Small Press Distribution and Amazon any day now.

Here's what others have written about it:

If Anton Chekhov returned as a modern-day poet, Richard Hoffman would be his name. His poems reverberate with the same lucid witness and precision. Bridging histories local and cultural, they draw on literary traditions while simultaneously heralding experiment and invention. Both rooted and transcendent, Emblem is a marvelous new book.
Terrance Hayes
author of National Book Award winner, Lighthead

Richard Hoffman is a fiercely gifted poet whose stanzas revel in the infinite possibilities of language, and jolt, surprise, and satisfy at every turn. Each syllable in Emblem is stamped with the poet’s signature, a heady combination of skill, vulnerability and unerring wit. This is work to be savored and embraced.
Patricia Smith
author of National Book Award finalist, Blood Dazzler

Richard Hoffman’s Emblem is an extraordinary book. Hoffman knows poetic forms, and he handles them deftly. His poems move beyond form to inhabit the places where our human selves reside, the country of the heart, the city of the mind. I admire this poet for his verve, and I follow where he leads.
— Pablo Medina
author of The Man Who Wrote on Water

Richard Hoffman earns highest praise for brilliantly resuscitating emblems, a genre that flourished from the Renaissance until the 19th century. His point of departure is Andrea Alciati’s Emblematum Liber (1531), the earliest and most important emblem book. Like Alciati, Hoffman begins each with a motto, and the range of his subjects is broad, bearing on aspects of life that seem to be, in his words, “either immutable or peculiarly contemporary.” Readers will relish them, and all of Hoffman’s poems, and return to them time and again.
Seymour Slive
Professor of Fine Arts Emeritus, Harvard University; former Director, Harvard Art Museums

Friday, December 09, 2011

New poems up at Agni

Two new poems of mine, "Inventory" and "Good Boy" are up at Agni.

Hope you enjoy.