Profile Picture of John Hoppenthaler

Jean Valentine: This-World Company

Over the course of more than four decades, contemporary American poet Jean Valentine has written eleven books of stunning, spirit-inflected poetry. This collection of essays, assembled over several years by Kazim Ali and ECU’s John Hoppenthaler, brings together twenty-six pieces on all stages of Valentine’s career by a range of poets, scholars, and admirers.

Photo of Amber Flora Thomas

The Rabbits Could Sing: Poems

The poems included in The Rabbits Could Sing delve farther into territory that Amber Flora Thomas visited in her prize-winning book Eye of Water, showing even more clearly how “the seam has been pulled so far open on the past” that “the dress will never close.” Here, the poem acts not as a body in itself but as a garb drawn around the here and now. Loss, longing, and violation are sustenance to a spirit jarred from its animal flesh and torn apart, unsettling the reader with surprising images that are difficult to forget. The poems in The Rabbits Could Sing invite the reader into a world thick with the lush bounty of summer in the far north, where the present is never far from the shadow of the past.

Profile Picture of John Hoppenthaler

Anticipate the Coming Reservoir

Speakers in Anticipate the Coming Reservoir return to and survey terrain that was once their own and find it strangely defamiliarized. As they process the changes—changes they generally see as suspect—these characters seek, and sometimes find, something like balance between nostalgia and terra incognita. This collection may be, as Natasha Trethewey writes, “his nostos,” but it is also John Hoppenthaler’s paen to existential resolve as it is exhibited by souls who possess, as David Baker describes it, “all our wounded, belated psyches.”

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