He was born in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. His father was an Army doctor, and Hoagland grew up on various military bases throughout the South. He was educated at Williams College, the University of Iowa (B.A.), and the University of Arizona (M.F.A.). According to the novelist Don Lee, Hoagland "attended and dropped out of several colleges, picked apples and cherries in the Northwest, lived in communes, [and] followed the Grateful Dead . . ." He currently teaches in the University of Houston creative writing program. He is also on the faculty of the Warren Wilson low-residency MFA program.
In an interview with Miriam Sagan about his poetic influences, Hoagland said, ... more »
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Tony Hoagland Poems
If you are lucky in this life, you will get to help your enemy the way I got to help my mother when she was weakened past the point of saying no.
Sometimes I wish I were still out on the back porch, drinking jet fuel with the boys, getting louder and louder as the empty cans drop out of our paws
Maxine, back from a weekend with her boyfriend, smiles like a big cat and says that she's a conjugated verb. She's been doing the direct object
The season turned like the page of a glossy fashion magazine. In the park the daffodils came up and in the parking lot, the new car models were on parade.
I Have News for You
There are people who do not see a broken playground swing as a symbol of ruined childhood and there are people who don't interpret the behavior of a fly in a motel room as a mocking representation of their thought process.
Then one of the students with blue hair and a tongue stud Says that America is for him a maximum-security prison
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Edgar Allan Poe
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If you are lucky in this life,
you will get to help your enemy
the way I got to help my mother
when she was weakened past the point of saying no.
Into the big enamel tub
half-filled with water
which I had made just right,
I lowered the childish skeleton
she had become.
Her eyelids fluttered as I soaped and rinsed
her belly and her chest,
the sorry ruin of her flanks
and the frayed gray cloud
between her legs.
Some nights, sitting by her bed
book open in my lap
while I listened to the air
move thickly in and out of her ...