Biography of Tony Hoagland
He was born in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. His father was an Army doctor, and Hoagland grew up on various military bases throughout the South. He was educated at Williams College, the University of Iowa (B.A.), and the University of Arizona (M.F.A.). According to the novelist Don Lee, Hoagland "attended and dropped out of several colleges, picked apples and cherries in the Northwest, lived in communes, [and] followed the Grateful Dead . . ." He currently teaches in the University of Houston creative writing program. He is also on the faculty of the Warren Wilson low-residency MFA program.
In an interview with Miriam Sagan about his poetic influences, Hoagland said, "if I were going to place myself on some aesthetic graph, my dot would be equidistant between Sharon Olds and Frank O’Hara, between the confessional (where I started) and the social (where I have aimed myself). In a 2002 citation regarding Hoagland's Academy Award in Literature, The American Academy of Arts and Letters said that "Hoagland's imagination ranges thrillingly across manners, morals, sexual doings, and kinds of speech lyrical and candid, intimate as well as wild."
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Tony Hoagland Poems
If you are lucky in this life, you will get to help your enemy the way I got to help my mother when she was weakened past the point of saying no.
Sometimes I wish I were still out on the back porch, drinking jet fuel with the boys, getting louder and louder as the empty cans drop out of our paws
Maxine, back from a weekend with her boyfriend, smiles like a big cat and says that she's a conjugated verb. She's been doing the direct object
The season turned like the page of a glossy fashion magazine. In the park the daffodils came up and in the parking lot, the new car models were on parade.
I Have News For You
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.
Then one of the students with blue hair and a tongue stud Says that America is for him a maximum-security prison
A Color of the Sky
Windy today and I feel less than brilliant, driving over the hills from work. There are the dark parts on the road
Special Problems in Vocabulary
There is no single particular noun for the way a friendship, stretched over time, grows thin,
Tell the flowers—they think the sun loves them. The grass is under the same
When Dean Young Talks About Wine
The worm thrashes when it enters the tequila. The grape cries out in the wine vat crusher. But when Dean Young talks about wine, his voice is strangely calm.
Note to Reality
Without even knowing it, I have believed in you for a long time.
I was feeling pretty religious standing on the bridge in my winter coat looking down at the gray water:
Reasons to Survive November
November like a train wreck - as if a locomotive made of cold had hurtled out of Canada and crashed into a million trees,
Then one of the students with blue hair and a tongue stud
Says that America is for him a maximum-security prison
Whose walls are made of RadioShacks and Burger Kings, and MTV episodes
Where you can't tell the show from the commercials,
And as I consider how to express how full of shit I think he is,
He says that even when he's driving to the mall in his Isuzu