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Forrest Hamer

(1956 -)

Biography of Forrest Hamer

Forrest Hamer poet

Forrest Hamer is an American poet, psychologist, and psychoanalyst. He is the author of three poetry collections, most recently Rift (Four Way Books, 2007). His first collection, Call & Response, (Alice James Books) won the Beatrice Hawley Award, and his second, Middle Ear (Roundhouse Press), received the Northern California Book Award. He has received fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and the California Arts Council, and he has taught at the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshops.

His poetry has been anthologized in Poet’s Choice: Poems for Everyday Life, The Geography of Home: California’s Poetry of Place, The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South, Blues Poems, Word of Mouth: An Anthology of Gay American Poetry, and three editions of The Best American Poetry; and has appeared in many magazines and literary journals including The American Poetry Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Kenyon Review, Callaloo, Ploughshares, Shenandoah, TriQuarterly, and ZYZZYVA. He was educated at Yale University and the University of California - Berkeley. He lives in Oakland, California.

Forrest Hamer's Works:

Rift. Four Way Books. 2007. ISBN 9781884800757.
Middle Ear (Roundhouse, 2000)
Call and Response (Alice James Books, 1995)

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Initiation

After I stumbled through the gauntlet, after they had hit me
As hard as they could,
Some there only because there was someone else
To be brought in, I joined them
In greeting the new ones, the frightened and longing ones,
And I punched as hard and as much as I could, something
Filling in me I would tell you was a thrill
Only because I had no better word for it.
There was another word for it: violence

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