As we unlocked it
there was nothing
in the safe
so intent to record
all we saw
paying attention meant
at that age or later on
a kind of stage
Born in Princeton, New Jersey, on November 11, 1973, Chris Hosea earned an AB cum laude in English and American Literature from Harvard College. He then went on to receive his MFA from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
His manuscript, Put Your Hands In, was selected by John Ashbery as the winner of the 2013 Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets, and was published by Louisiana State University Press in 2014.
About Put Your Hands In, Ashbery writes:
Exactly a century ago, the Armory Show brought European avant-garde art to New York. We are still experiencing its consequences. Among the works on view was Marcel Duchamp's notorious Nude Descending a Staircase, which a derisive critic wanted to rename, "Explosion in a Shingle Factory." Both titles come to mind as one reads Chris Hosea's Put Your Hands In, which somehow subsumes derision and erotic energy and comes out on top. Maybe that's because "poetry is the cruelest month," as he says, correcting T.S. Eliot. Transfixed in mid-paroxysm, the poems also remind us of Samuel Beckett's line (in Watt): "The pain not yet pleasure, the pleasure not yet pain." One feels plunged in a wave of happening that is about to crest.
Hosea is senior copywriter at H4B Chelsea and lives in Brooklyn, New York.