There are people who do not see a broken playground swing as a symbol of ruined childhood and there are people who don't interpret the behavior of a fly in a motel room as a mocking representation of their thought process. There are people who don't walk past an empty swimming pool and think about past
Born on November 19, 1953, in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Tony Hoagland is the author of witty, poingnant poems that comment on contemporary American life and culture.
His books of poetry include Unincorporated Personas in the Late Honda Dynasty (Graywolf Press, 2010); What Narcissism Means to Me (2003), a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; Donkey Gospel (1998), which received the James Laughlin Award; and Sweet Ruin (1992), chosen by Donald Justice for the 1992 Brittingham Prize in Poetry and winner of the Zacharis Award from Emerson College.
Hoagland's other honors and awards include two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, a fellowship to the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, the O. B. Hardison Prize for Poetry and Teaching from the Folger Shakespeare Library, the 2008 Jackson Poetry Prize from Poets & Writers magazine, as well as the Poetry Foundation's 2005 Mark Twain Award in recognition of his contribution to humor in American poetry.
In 2002, the American Academy of Arts and Letters praised the poet's work with a citation stating, "Tony Hoagland's imagination ranges thrillingly across manners, morals, sexual doings, kinds of speech both lyrical and candid, intimate as well as wild."
He currently teaches at the University of Houston and Warren Wilson College.