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Saturday, April 23, 2016

Master of 'self' in the picture

Most writers forget that "I" is an important part of the narrative, especially if they use things from their own lives in crafting their work.  The reader becomes the loser when that happens because we miss out on who our storyteller is.  That is definitely not the case with Andrew Hudgins, storyteller and poet, who not only uses scenes from his own life, but does so in a way that draws us squarely into the action.

Hudgins was raised in Alabama where he earned degrees. at Huntingdon College and the University of Alabama.  He also has a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Iowa.   The author of numerous collections of poetry and essays – many of which have received high critical praise.  His The Never-Ending: New Poems was a finalist for the National Book Award; and  After the Lost War: A Narrative received the Poets' Prize.   Saints and Strangers was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

Hudgins is the Humanities Distinguished Professor of English at the Ohio State University.  For "Saturday’s Poem," here is his short piece,

In The Well
My father cinched the rope,
a noose around my waist,
and lowered me into
the darkness. I could taste

my fear. It tasted first
of dark, then earth, then rot.
I swung and struck my head
and at that moment got

another then: then blood,
which spiked my mouth with iron.
Hand over hand, my father
dropped me from then to then:

then water. Then wet fur,
which I hugged to my chest.
I shouted. Daddy hauled
the wet rope. I gagged, and pressed

my neighbor's missing dog
against me. I held its death
and rose up to my father.
Then light. Then hands. Then breath.

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