Michael Bough’s Beautiful New Poetry Collection Inspired by H.D.’s Hermetic Definitions

Michael Boughn’s new poetry collection, Hermetic Divagations – After H.D. (Swimmers Group, 2017) embraces the poetic method of H.D.’s Hermetic Definitions to arrive at a wholly new reflection on the many questions H.D. posed about war, love, spirituality, and survival–questions that retain their relevance for us today. Michael Boughn is the author of several books of poetry, including Cosmogrophia: A Post-Lucretian Faux Micro Epic (2010), which was nominated for the Governor General Award.

“Michael Boughn’s Hermetic Divagations is a luminous book of gratitude and persistence. Boughn weaves H.D.’s traditions, motifs and words in his own poised lines, examining a resonant image hoard—flame, angel, amber, lotus, worm, and owl, and thereupon continually re-discovering female figures emanating poise, eros and blessing amid confusion and depredation. “Then she is there” is a repeated realization. The work is at once a poetics of rumination evoking immanent presence and a meditation on the acts of war and rancor that harass grace.  Hermetic Divagations is a serious and lucid reworking of questions of civilization where “dung and myrrh // mingle with air and fear,” yet where one persists in seeking the “hidden entrance in a world // of restricted visibility.” – Rachel Blau DuPlessis


Cynthia Hogue’s Poetry Collection Published by Red Hen Press

Screen shot of Cynthia Hogue's Web page featuring her new poetry collection, In June the Labyrinth, by Red Hen Press, 2017
Poetry Collection, In June the Labyrinth by Cynthia Hogue, published by Red Hen Press, 2017

Poet and H.D. Scholar, Cynthia Hogue, has published her ninth poetry collection, In June the Labyrinth (Red Hen Press, 2017). This book-length poetry sequence shares a mythopoetic approach often found in H.D.’s poetry as well. Excerpts from In June the Labyrinth have also been featured in Tupelo Quarterly

Cynthia Hogue served as the Distinguished Visiting Writer at Cornell University in the Spring of 2014. She was a 2015 NEA Fellow in Translation, and holds the Maxine and Jonathan Marshall Chair in Modern and Contemporary Poetry at Arizona State University.


New Novella Explores Alice Modern, H.D., and Bryher

Xoxox Press, a small press publisher in Gambier, Ohio, has issued a novella by Michelle Auerbach, titled Alice Modern.

Book Cover image for Alice Modern, a novel by Michelle Auerbach
Book Cover for novella, Alice Modern, a novel by Michelle Auerbach

Modernist poet H.D. and her lover, Winifred Ellerman (known as Bryher), are central protagonists in a graceful, erotically lush novella of 1930s Europe. Young Alice Modern tells the tale of leaving her bourgeois Jewish home in Vienna to work as a nanny in the household of H.D. and Bryher, caring for their young child Perdita. Entranced by the keen literary lives of “Kat” and “Gryphon” in Switzerland, Alice begins to transcend her tightly-bound life and discover who she is and might become. Her world opens and her sexuality awakens in a time of political turmoil and existential hazard, reckoning with her own inner storms and the approaching flames of fascism and holocaust.

“This taut, handsome tale brings the gone world so gleamingly to life you could imagine it was all happening just yesterday or earlier today or even tomorrow. Not only does Auerbach write excellent sentences, she deploys them with great care and craft to build a gripping tale of war, love, friendship, and the deep wells of the mind.” — Laird Hunt, author of Neverhome and Kind One


Tandy Cronyn Recites H.D.’s “Sheltered Garden” for PoetryTheatre

PoetryTheatre offers a dramatic recitation of H.D.’s “Sheltered Garden,” which just happens to be my favorite poem from Sea Garden. Show this alongside “Helen” or “Sea Rose” when teaching H.D. out of limited anthologies, and watch the students’ readings open up in delightful directions.


“Borderline Breakdown” Montage by Brianna Harris

Brianna Harris’s YouTube site notes that she uses this montage of Borderline scenes when she teaches the film at Hampshire College. She writes, “I used the footage from the silent film “Borderline 1930″ to emphasize the themes of relationships, affairs, and racism vs. romance. You also see themes of gender roles and betrayal, truth, shame, and murder.” The contemporary soundtrack adds emphasis to those themes as well. This montage is great for those wishing to teach the film without showing the whole film in class as well as for anyone wishing to contrast the experience of the 1930 silent film with contemporary film viewing practice.


University of Maine at Orono Performs “Until the War Is Over” Opera based on H.D.’s Bid Me to Live

Poet Jennifer Moxley and composer Beth Wiemann have collaborated to produce a one-act opera based on H.D.’s Bid Me to Live. Wiemann has shared clips from three scenes of the opera, Until the War Is Over, on Soundcloud. The opera was performed on June 23, 2016, at the University of Maine School of Performing Arts.


Amy Evans’s SOUND((ING))S: An on-board poetry installation in support of refugees published 25 Apr 2016

Amy Evans, whose poetry collections are deeply influenced by H.D.’s work, has released a video/audio reading of her recent poetry installation, SOUND((ING))S.

From her YouTube page description: “SOUND((ING))S takes place at sea. It constitutes part of an ongoing poetic sequence, the first sections of which were text-based: Collecting Shells (2011), The Sea Quells (2013) and CONT. (2015). The latter was performed at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London as part of Poetry and Sound on 5 February 2016. This section will be played as a sound-based installation on board a chartered vessel as it crosses the English Channel, sailing between Dover and Calais with provisions for refugees based near the French port.”

Amy Evans’s article about this poetic installation is published in the Performance Research Journal 21.2 On Sea/At Sea at http://www.performance-research.org. It explicitly mentions the role of H.D.’s Sea Garden in informing Evans’s poetry.