As much as human beings were made to stay inside their homes in many places, pulled back like the awkward weeds we can be, threatened with culling by the mind of the garden, we were, in that way, contained by the pandemic. However, in Contain, the poet asks that we all remember what must not be held inside us if we are to remain resilient. Hogue meditates on the necessary questions of what is owed in return for the gift of life, as she writes out of her inspired dialogue with Morgan O’Hara’s work, and reminds us of how poetry can help us to see inside the gift of sight that is the painter’s province.
Afaa M. Weaver, author of City of Eternal Spring
Cynthia Hogue taught in the MFA program at the University of New Orleans before moving to Pennsylvania, where she directed the Stadler Center for Poetry at Bucknell University for eight years. She then served as the Maxine and Jonathan Marshall Chair in Modern and Contemporary Poetry at Arizona State University until 2018. Her nine collections of poetry include Revenance (2014) and In June the Labyrinth (2017), both from Red Hen Press. She 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. Hogue’s tenth collection of poetry, instead, it is dark, will be published in 2023. Among her honors are a Fulbright Fellowship to Iceland, two NEA Fellowships, and the Witter Bynner Translation Fellowship, and the Harold Morton Landon Translation Award from the Academy of American Poets (2013). She lives in Tucson.
Contain by Cynthia Hogue
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