T. R. Hummer’s most recent books of poetry are the three linked volumes Ephemeron, Skandalon, and Eon (LSU Press). Former editor in chief of The Kenyon Review, of The New England Review, and of The Georgia Review, he has been the recipient of a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship in poetry, a National Endowment for the Arts Individual Artist Grant in Poetry, the Richard Wright Award for Artistic Excellence, the Hanes Poetry Prize, and the Donald Justice Award in Poetry. He lives in Cold Spring, New York.

photo credit: Elizabeth Cody

After the Afterlife: Poems

T. R. Hummer

After the Afterlife explores the zone between language and spirit. It is a book of inner and outer boundaries: of blockades, of tunnels, of wormholes. Where does our consciousness come from, and where is it going, if anywhere? With a nimble blend of wit, whimsy, and erudition, Hummer’s poems assay the border that the shaman is forced to cross to wrestle with the gods, which is the same border the mystic yearns to broach, and the ordinary human stumbles over while doing laundry or making lunch—where questions of identity melt in the white heat of Being:

which is like trying to teach

The cat to waltz, so much awkwardness, so many tender

advances, and I’m shocked when it actually learns,

When it minces toward me in a tiny cocktail gown, offering a martini,

asking for this dance, insisting on hearing me refuse

To reply, debating all along, in the chorus of its interior mewing, who

are you really, peculiar animal, who taught you to call you you.

72 pp., 6 x 9

ISBN 978-1-946724-01-4 (pbk)

ISBN 978-1-946724-06-9 (e-book)


Julie Suk Award Finalist

Balcones Poetry Prize Finalist

With visual nods to East and West (enlightenment calls to mind English philosophy as well as Eastern religions) and the way humans anthropomorphize—an ancient planet with a “pitted face”—Hummer again takes his place with spacious grace. —The Rumpus

Transcendent wisdom . . . The poems are no less than sublime for the beautiful terror they strike in the reader. —Chard deNiord, On the Seawall

All I can say is get this book. Every page takes you into untold dimensions. —Richard Jackson, author of Resonance

Beautiful, philosophical, elegiac. —Derek Mong, The Kenyon Review

Featured in the Kenyon Collegian.


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