Rae Armantrout, one of the founding members of the West Coast group of Language poets, stands apart from other Language poets in her lyrical voice and her commitment to the interior and the domestic. Born in Vallejo, California, Armantrout earned her BA at the University of California, Berkeley—where she studied with Denise Levertov—and she earned her MA at San Francisco State University. The author of more than ten collections of poetry, Armantrout has also published a short memoir, True (1998). Her Collected Prose was published in 2007. Her most recent collections include Versed(2009), which won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry and a 2009 National Book Critics Circle Award, and was a finalist for the 2009 National Book Award; Itself (2015); Partly: New and Selected Poems (2016); Entanglements(2017); and Wobble (2018), a finalist for the National Book Award.
Armantrout's short-lined poems are often concerned with dismantling conventions of memory, pop culture, science, and mothering, and these unsparing interrogations are often streaked with wit. She explained, “you can hold the various elements of my poems in your mind at one time, but those elements may be hissing and spitting at one another.” According to critic Stephanie Burt, “William Carlos Williams and Emily Dickinson together taught Armantrout how to dismantle and reassemble the forms of stanzaic lyric—how to turn it inside out and backwards, how to embody large questions and apprehensions in the conjunctions of individual words, how to generate productive clashes from arrangements of small groups of phrases. From these techniques, Armantrout has become one of the most recognizable, and one of the best, poets of her generation.”
Armantrout's poems have appeared in The Open Door: 100 Poems, 100 Years of Poetry Magazine (2012), The Best of the Best American Poetry: 1988-2012(2013), and The Norton Anthology of Postmodern American Poetry (2013), among numerous other anthologies. She has received fellowships and awards from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, the California Arts Council, the Rockefeller Center, and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.
“I think my poetry involves an equal counterweight of assertion and doubt,” Armantrout has written. “It’s a Cheshire poetics, one that points two ways then vanishes in the blur of what is seen and what is seeing, what can be known and what it is to know. That double-bind.” She is a professor emerita at University of California, San Diego, where she taught for more than 20 years and was the longtime director of the New Writing Series. She lives in Everett, Washington.
WHAT IS THE IMAGE: CYNTHIA HOGUE & LAURA HINTON
The Steinfeld Warehouse
101 W 6th St
CYNTHIA HOGUE has published fourteen books, including nine collections of poetry, most recently, The Incognito Body (2006), Or Consequence (2010), the co-authored When the Water Came: Evacuees of Hurricane Katrina (interview-poems with photographs by Rebecca Ross ), published in 2010 in the University of New Orleans Press’ Engaged Writers Series, and Revenance, listed as one of the 2014 “Standout” books by the Academy of American Poets.
Since 2006, Hogue has been an active translator from contemporary French poetry whose translations have appeared in American Letters & Commentary, Aufgabe, Interim, Poetry International, APR and Field, among other journals. Her book-length translation, Jeanne Darc (Joan Darc), from the French of Nathalie Quintane, was published by La Presse in 2017. Her co-authored, book-length translation, Fortino Sámano (The overflowing of the poem), from the French of Virginie Lalucq and Jean-Luc Nancy, was published by Omnidawn in 2012, and won the Harold Morton Landon Translation Award from the Academy of American Poets in 2013. Also known for her criticism, she has published many essays on poetry, ranging from that of Emily Dickinson to Kathleen Fraser and Harryette Mullen. Her critical work includes the co-edited editions We Who Love To Be Astonished: Experimental Feminist Poetics and Performance Art (U of Alabama P, 2001); Innovative Women Poets: An Anthology of Contemporary Poetry and Interviews (U of Iowa P, 2006); and the first edition of H.D.’s The Sword Went Out to Sea (Synthesis of a Dream), by Delia Alton (UP of Florida, 2007).
Among Hogue’s honors are an NEA Fellowship in poetry, the H.D. Fellowship at the Beinecke Library at Yale University, a MacDowell Colony residency, and the Witter Bynner Translation Fellowship at the Santa Fe Art Institute. Hogue served as the Distinguished Visiting Writer at Cornell University in the Spring of 2014. She was a 2015 NEA Fellow in Translation, and held the Maxine and Jonathan Marshall Chair in Modern and Contemporary Poetry at Arizona State University. In June the Labyrinth is her ninth collection of poetry.
LAURA HINTON is the author of the critical book The Perverse Gaze of Sympathy: Sadomasochistic Sentiments from Clarissa to Rescue 911 (SUNY Press), and co-editor of We Who Love to Be Astonished: Experimental Women’s Writing and Performance Poetics (with Cynthia Hogue -- University of Alabama Press). Her newest edited collection isentitled Jayne Cortez, Adrienne Rich, and the Feminist Superhero (Lexington Books). She has critical essays, poet interviews, reviews, and other academic pieces in multiple book collections and journals including Women's Studies, Textual Practice, Jacket2, and Postmodern Culture (PMC). Her most recent journal article, "Spatial Motion: On Leslie Scalapino's How Phenomena Appear to Unfold / the Hind," appeared in Jacket2 at the beginning of 2015.
Her single-author poetry book Sisyphus My Love (To Record a Dream in a Bathtub) is published by BlazeVox Books; and a new book emerges from the same publisher this spring 2016, entitled, Ubermutter's Death Dance. Laura Hinton has poetry performance, prose and hybrid pieces also published in journals and collections, from Madhatter Review to Feminist Studies, Yew and How2. She also has published a number of experimental poet’s-prose memoir essays, including “Caretaker,” an indictment of the American medical system toward stroke victims and their families, which was published in the Columbia University journal The Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine.
Hinton is a respected editor who has headed several editorial projects, including a co-edited special issue (with Heidi Bean) on the topic of poet’s theater in PMC. She has a new book in progress, a critical work investigating the subject of contemporary American women’s hybrid poetics from the perspective of visual theory.
Laura Hinton is also a photographer. Selections have most recently been featured in the on-line journalYew (including a cover image) and in the magazine Glassworks. A music major in her undergraduate study, she is a trained vocalist, classical pianist and guitarist. She continues to use her vocal training in poetry performances.
A native Californian, Laura Hinton received her B.A. and M.A. from the University of Arizona, and her Ph.D. from Stanford University (1991). She is currently a Professor of English at the City College of New York, where she teaches courses in feminist theory, textual studies and multi-media, as well as general world literature and film classes. She curates for CCNY the InterRUPTions Reading Series, and she also edits a chapbook series of performance poetry under the imprint of Mermaid Tenement Press. Her blog since 2009 on the multi-media arts and poetry is calledChant de la Sirene.
She works in New York City, but also spends a great deal of time at her house in Woodstock, NY, where she grows a one-acre garden in the spring and summer, and maintains a writing room. She spends a few months a year in the South of France. She is married to Bernard Roy, a dual French-U.S. citizen, who works as an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Ramapo College of New Jersey, and is the mother of the New York City multi-media artist Paul Daniel Lyon, a.k.a., Vickers Gringo (1978-2010).
SPRING HOUSE PARTY & FUNDRAISER
WHEN: MAY 11, 2019 at 6PM
For old friends and new friends—we want to celebrate poetry and our incredible literary community with you! This potluck and performance will include live poetry and music, along with tasty treats made by all of our friends. Bring a dish and a friend, and help us raise some funds for our next season!
Stay tuned to this page and to our Facebook for further information about readings and events coming up in Fall 2019!
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