Poetry. Winner of the 2013 Weatherford Award for Poetry. "Richard Hague is a naturalist who comes from a landscape that has suffered the systematic removal of Nature. 'I come here to commune / with nothing,' he says in one poem. Indeed, the ever-present industrial and chemical waste littering the southeastern Ohio Hague chronicles, suggests the awful darkness of nothing. This is a world of carnage and the great diminishment of human hope; from strip mines and steel mills smoking in their prime to the wreckage of their leavings, Hague summons the courage to speak against the ruin. He speaks for the wild things and their place, and he speaks for the people who live with profound and unrelenting loss. This is the land and these are the people who have paid the highest price for the so-called benefits and conveniences of modern American life. What we have given up in trade is incalculable. The poems in this generous collection, therefore, are wonders of bravery; they come from the ancient spirit of poetry whose task is to name, to say, and to make account, and to bring the ruined world into burnishing contact with beauty."—Maurice Manning
Richard Hague, a native of Steubenville, Ohio in the Appalachian Ohio River Valley, taught at Purcell Marian High School in Cincinnati for 45 years. While there he engaged in other enterprises and adventures, including adjuncting at Edgecliff College and at Xavier University, his alma mater, commercial urban gardening, hosting writers workshops, and teaching for a few summers at the Institute for Professional Development and Graduate School of Education at Northeastern University in Boston. His high school career ended when he refused to sign an anti-gay and anti-worker's rights Archdiocese of Cincinnati contract in May 2014. Not long after, he was named Writer-in- Residence at Thomas More University in northern Kentucky, where he continued as Artist-in-Residence until 2022. He now teaches and writes with The Originary Arts Initiative. He is author, co-editor, or editor of 20 collections, most recently RIPARIAN: POETRY, SHORT PROSE AND PHOTOGRAPHY INSPIRED BY THE OHIO RIVER (Dos Madres Press, 2019), Earnest Occupations: Teaching, Writing, Gardening & Other Local Work (Bottom Dog Press, 2018), STUDIED DAYS: POEMS EARLY & LATE IN APPALACHIA (Dos Madres Press, 2017), WHERE DRUNK MEN GO: A LONG POEM (Dos Madres Press, 2015) and DURING THE RECENT EXTINCTIONS: NEW & SELECTED POEMS 1984-2012 (Dos Madres Press, 2012), for which he was given the Weatherford Award in Poetry Writing Award. He continues to live in Cincinnati.