Biography of Sam Hamill
Sam Hamill is an American poet and the co-founder of Copper Canyon Press along with Bill O’Daly and Tree Swenson. He is also the initiator of the Poets Against War movement (2003), which he set up in response to the Iraq War.
Hamill has been awarded the Stanley Lindberg Lifetime Achievement Award for Editing and the Washington Poets Association Lifetime Achievement Award.
Sam Hamill Poems
On the Death of James Oscco Annamaría
When they found his body in the trash pile near Pachachaca Bridge in Abancay,
A slow gray-yellow dawn beyond the slow brown Nile, a heavy haze over Cairo
Eyes Wide Open Rattle ‘05
The little olive-skinned girl peered up at me from the photograph with her eyes wide open,
What the Water Knows
What the mouth sings, the soul must learn to forgive. A rat's as moral as a monk in the eyes of the real world. Still, the heart is a river pouring from itself, a river that cannot be crossed.
State of the Union, 2003
I have not been to Jerusalem, but Shirley talks about the bombs. I have no god, but have seen the children praying for it to stop. They pray to different gods.
On the Third Anniversary of the Ongoing ...
It's been nearly forty years since you wrote that poem about writing poems against all those wars, Harlan County
Homeland Security after Borges
No one is the homeland. The myths of history cannot clothe the Emperor's nakedness, no speech empower a vote not counted, nor honor the living who are impoverished
The New York Poem
I sit in the dark, not brooding exactly, not waiting for the dawn that is just beginning, at six-twenty-one, in gray October light behind the trees.
Half broken on that smoky night, hunched over sake in a serviceman's dive somewhere in Naha, Okinawa, nearly fifty years ago,
The Orchid Flower
Just as I wonder whether it's going to die, the orchid blossoms
What the Water Knows
What the mouth sings, the soul must learn to forgive.
A rat's as moral as a monk in the eyes of the real world.
Still, the heart is a river
pouring from itself, a river that cannot be crossed.
It opens on a bay
and turns back upon itself as the tide comes in,
it carries the cry of the loon and the salts
of the unutterably human.