T. R. Hummer’s most recent books of poetry are the three linked volumes Ephemeron, Skandalon, and Eon (LSU Press). Former editor in chief of The Kenyon Review, of The New England Review, and of The Georgia Review, he has been the recipient of a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship in poetry, a National Endowment for the Arts Individual Artist Grant in Poetry, the Richard Wright Award for Artistic Excellence, the Hanes Poetry Prize, and the Donald Justice Award in Poetry. He lives in Cold Spring, New York.
photo credit: Elizabeth Cody
After the Afterlife: Poems
T. R. Hummer
After the Afterlife explores the zone between language and spirit. It is a book of inner and outer boundaries: of blockades, of tunnels, of wormholes. Where does our consciousness come from, and where is it going, if anywhere? With a nimble blend of wit, whimsy, and erudition, Hummer’s poems assay the border that the shaman is forced to cross to wrestle with the gods, which is the same border the mystic yearns to broach, and the ordinary human stumbles over while doing laundry or making lunch—where questions of identity melt in the white heat of Being:
which is like trying to teach
The cat to waltz, so much awkwardness, so many tender
advances, and I’m shocked when it actually learns,
When it minces toward me in a tiny cocktail gown, offering a martini,
asking for this dance, insisting on hearing me refuse
To reply, debating all along, in the chorus of its interior mewing, who
are you really, peculiar animal, who taught you to call you you.
72 pp., 6 x 9
ISBN 978-1-946724-01-4 (pbk)
ISBN 978-1-946724-06-9 (e-book)
Praise for After the Afterlife
Transcendent wisdom . . . The poems are no less than sublime for the beautiful terror they strike in the reader. —Chard deNiord, On the Seawall
Like the masters he admires without sycophancy, Hummer’s light is strong. —The Rumpus
Beautiful, philosophical, elegiac. —Derek Mong, The Kenyon Review
After the Afterlife is both a Julie Suk Award and Balcones Poetry Prize finalist.
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