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poet

Andrew Hudgins

Killeen , TX , United States
Andrew Hudgins

Andrew Hudgins was born in Killeen, Texas, in 1951 and educated at Huntingdon College and the University of Alabama. He earned his MFA from the University of Iowa in 1983.

His volumes of poetry include Ecstatic in the Poison (Overlook Press, 2003); Babylon in a Jar (1998); The Glass Hammer: A Southern Childhood (1994); The Never-Ending: New Poems (1991),a finalist for the National Book Awards; After the Lost War: A Narrative (1988), which received the Poetry Prize; and Saints and Strangers (1985), which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. He is also the author of a book of essays, The Glass Anvil (1997).

About Hudgins's most recent collection, Mark Strand has said, "Ecstatic in the Poison is full of intelligence, vitality, and grace. And there is a beautiful oddness about it. Dark moments seem charged with an eerie luminosity and the most humdrum events assume a startling lyric intensity. A deep resonant humor is everywhere, and everywhere amazing."

Hudgins's awards and honors include the Witter Bynner Award for Poetry, the Hanes Poetry Prize, and fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, the Ingram Merrill Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Hudgins has taught at Baylor University and University of Cincinnati; he currently teaches at Ohio State University.

by this poet

poem
Home (from Court Square Fountain—    
where affluent ghosts still importune     
a taciturn
slave to entertain
them with a slow barbarous tune     
in his auctioned baritone—
to Hank Williams' headstone      
atop a skeleton 
loose in a pristine
white suit and bearing a pristine
white bible, to the black
poem
Storms of perfume lift from honeysuckle,
lilac, clover—and drift across the threshold,
outside reclaiming inside as its home.
Warm days whirl in a bright unnumberable blur,
a cup—a grail brimmed with delirium
and humbling boredom both.  I was a boy,
I thought I'd always be a boy, pell—mell,
mean, and gaily
poem
After my night job, I sat in class
and ate, every thirteen minutes,
an orange peanut—butter cracker.
Bright grease adorned my notes.

At noon I rushed to my day job
and pushed a broom enough
to keep the boss calm if not happy.
In a hiding place, walled off

by bolts of calico and serge,
I read my masters and