Poetry. "There are no popular pontifications here. The word "alcoholism" is never mentioned, and there are no 12 steps to be heard of - although there is an entire poem listing the drunks' five rules of the universe. The relationship with hard liquor is not surrendered up as a disease, but more of a divinely dangerous and damning madness. Hague often calls upon the gods in a pagan sense, cursing them and praising in turn. One poem opens with the line, "After all, it was the gods that gave us drink." Not that Hague avoids the Christian vision of the drunkard's dilemma. The regrets of sin and hell have their place in the inebriated conscience and, at one point, the poet imagines driving in a dilapidated sedan to the gates of hell, where all those he's wronged stand waiting. But Hague's understanding of what drives anyone to drink is more honest and more true than religion or popular treatments are willing to own. One of the early poems in the sequence starts, 'Used to be Wildness was my buddy.' And that's really what it is—the need for wildness in our lives, that drives us to any number of things. The experience of misrule, the bending of what seems too straight or difficult or dull. It's a bare-bones statement, and Hague hits it head on."—Nicholas Korn, City Beat
Richard Hague is a native Appalachian, born in Steubenville, Ohio, just across the river from Weirton, West Virginia. He is Writer-in-Residence at Thomas More College. He has conducted workshops, lectures and readings all over the Midwest and Appalachia. Winner of four Ohio Arts Council fellowships in poetry and creative nonfiction, he is a member of the Academy of American Poets, the Appalachian Studies Association, the Southern Appalachian Writers Cooperative, The Mercantile Library, The Literary Club of Cincinnati, and the Irish Heritage Center of Cincinnati. His Milltown Natural: Essays and Stories from a Life (Bottom Dog Press) was a National Book Award nominee. For Ripening (Ohio State University Press) he was named co-Poet of the Year in Ohio in l985. Alive In Hard Country (Bottom Dog Press) was named Poetry Book of the Year by the Appalachian Writers Association, and DURING THE RECENT EXTINCTIONS: NEW & SELECTED POEMS 1984-2012 (Dos Madres Press, 2012) won the Weatherford Award in Poetry. STUDIED DAYS - POEMS EARLY & LATE IN APPALACHIA (Dos Madres Press, 2017) is his latest collection since BEASTS, RIVER, DRUNK MEN, GARDEN, BURST, & LIGHT: SEQUENCES AND LONG POEMS (Dos Madres Press, 2016). He has also edited two anthologies, Quarried: Three Decades of Pine Mt. Sand & Gravel, Southern Appalachian Writers Cooperative (2015) and REALMS OF THE MOTHERS:THE FIRST DECADE OF DOS MADRES PRESS (Dos Madres Press, 2016) He continues to live in Cincinnati, and to operate Erie Gardens, a small urban organic farm.
Author City: CINCINNATI, OH USA