Famous Poets and Poems:  Home  |  Poets  |  Poem of the Month  |  Poet of the Month  |  Top 50 Poems  |  Famous Quotes  |  Famous Love Poems

Back to main page Search for:


FamousPoetsAndPoems.com / Poets / Heather McHugh / Biography
Biography
Poems
Books
Popular Poets
Langston Hughes

Shel Silverstein

Pablo Neruda

Maya Angelou

Edgar Allan Poe

Robert Frost

Emily Dickinson

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

E. E. Cummings

Walt Whitman

William Wordsworth

Allen Ginsberg

Sylvia Plath

Jack Prelutsky

William Butler Yeats

Thomas Hardy

Robert Hayden

Amy Lowell

Oscar Wilde

Theodore Roethke

All Poets  

See also:

Love Poems and Quotes

Poets by Nationality

African American Poets

Women Poets

Thematic Poems

Thematic Quotes

Contemporary Poets

Nobel Prize Poets

American Poets

English Poets

Heather McHugh Biography
Back to Poet Page
Heather McHugh
Enlarge Picture
Heather McHugh was born in California in 1948 and raised in rural Virginia. She entered Harvard University at the age of 16, where she took a seminar with Robert Lowell and had her first poem published in The New Yorker. “My whole work is to catch the word by surprise, sneaking up on language, sneaking up on the world as it lurks in words,” McHugh said. “I love the recesses of reason. That’s a great place to set my mind at rest.”

Exuding a love of language, wit, and observation, McHugh creates poems that are profoundly intelligent. Through the use of puns, rhymes, and syntactical twists, her work is an ongoing inquiry into the ways language can aid and impede participation in life. “I write because I want to find out what was bothering me . . . I’m not sure what it is that wants to be said, but I’m there to be its scribe,” says McHugh. “Almost always I’ve seen some pattern. Then comes a rocking and a humming. I find language to document that play of patterns in the world.”

In her book The Father of the Predicaments (1999), McHugh takes her cue from Aristotle, who wrote that “the father of the predicaments is being.” The book opens with a long poem about a loved-one dying and the limits of speech: “What did she mean? All I can call upon/is words—unsatisfactory to say/the least—a nomen always aiming/for amen, a pupil meaning/well, pre-emptively.”

McHugh’s honors include two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Griffin Poetry Prize, and a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship. In 1999 she was elected a Chancellor of The Academy of American Poets. McHugh is Milliman Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at the University of Washington in Seattle. She frequently teaches as Visiting Professor at the Writers' Workshop in Iowa and has held chairs at the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Alabama, and the University of Cincinnati.


Selected Works
Dangers (1977)
A World of Difference (1981)
To the Quick (1987)
Shades (1988)
Hinge & Sign: Poems 1968-1993 (1994)
Broken English: Poetry and Partiality, essays (1993)
The Father of the Predicaments (1999)
Glottal Stop: 101 Poems of Paul Celan, translation with Nikolai Popov (2000)
Cyclops, Euripides, translation (2000)
View Heather McHugh:  Poems | Biography | Books

Home   |   About Project   |   Privacy Policy   |   Copyright Notice   |   Links   |   Link to Us   |   Tell a Friend   |   Contact Us
Copyright © 2006 - 2010 Famous Poets And Poems . com. All Rights Reserved.
The Poems and Quotes on this site are the property of their respective authors. All information has been
reproduced here for educational and informational purposes.