By Ann Hudson
“Ann Hudson excels at description. Her images are highly sensitive and precise miniatures. It is this marked talent that recommends The Armillary Sphere.”
Taking the warp of dream, sometimes nightmare, and weaving it with the ordinary world, the poems of The Armillary Sphere, Ann Hudson’s award-winning debut collection, do not simplify the mystery but deepen it. Just as the interlocking rings of the armillary sphere of the title represent the great circles of the heavens, so do the poems herein demonstrate out of the beautiful, the extraordinary, and the cast off, a fresh scaffolding, a new way to see out from the center of our selves, a new measure of our relationship to the things of this world and the next.
Chosen from hundreds of manuscripts as this year’s winner of the Hollis Summers Poetry Prize, Ann Hudson’s The Armillary Sphere possesses, in the words of final judge Mary Kinzie,
“… a brightness of spirit and quickness of thought that are conveyed with extraordinary care as she frames moments of experience. Her style is unobtrusive—no fireworks of phrasing obscure the thing felt and seen. So simple a device as taking an intransitive verb transitively can shed strong light on the moment: “A fine sheen /of sweat glistens the cocktail glasses,”—and Hudson studies emotions with a brave restraint that resists cliché, while deftly joining together intuitions that bring contradictory or opposing charge.… Both circular and digressive, Hudson’s portrayal of beings of all ages poised on their varying thresholds brings a novelist’s sense of details unfolding into their future under the control of a fine poet’s pure and condensed language of likeness.”
If you were awake too, I’d tell you
the whole story, how I dreamt
we never saw the child, how easily
we forgot. Instead I shuffle
to the porch to watch
traffic pass the house
and an occasional bat dive
under the streetlamps, ruthless
after its dark targets.
Ann Hudson grew up in Charlottesville, Virginia. Her poems have appeared in many literary journals including Crab Orchard Review, Iris, North American Review, Prairie Schooner, and The Seattle Review. She lives in Chicago. More info →
Save 20% ($11.96)
Save 20% ($19.96)
US and Canada only
Availability and price vary according to vendor.
Permission to reprint
Permission to photocopy or include in a course pack via Copyright Clearance Center
Traditionally, the legends, myth-cycles, tales, rituals, songs and poems of Native Americans (both North and South) have been treated as ethnological data or as curious objects. William Brandon believes that the songs and poems in this volume will, in time, be accepted as representatives of one of the world’s great literatures.
Ordinary, everday, homely. These are words that come to mind to describe the dimension Hollis Summers’ poems live in. But they are inadequate words, and his are deceptively simple poems. They speak little, and quietly, but they record, in the silences they create, a desperate, melancholy magic about the surfaces and trivial events of our days. So we are led to discover, and assent, to all these tonal perceptions as the true domestic furniture of our inner lives.
Once or twice in a generation a poet comes along who captures the essential spirit of the American Midwest and gives name to the peculiar nature that persists there. Like James Wright, Robert Bly, Ted Kooser, and Jared Carter before him, Dan Lechay reshapes our imagination to include his distinct and profound vision of this undersung region.The
Sign up to be notified when new Literature titles come out.
We will only use your email address to notify you of new titles in the subject area(s) you follow. We will never share your information with third parties.