Cynthia Hogue

'The fact of her witness'

Kathleen Fraser and the poetics of empathic witness

Image from 'WITNESS' (2007) by Nancy Tokar Miller, courtesy of Chax Press.

As I begin writing this essay, a fragment of an interview that I conducted with Kathleen Fraser more than two decades ago mysteriously pops up on my screen: 

finding my own pen to do my work, in order, I think, to embody “a self,” in order to discover that there is an evolving being in there, living, changing, breathing.[1]

Dear Natasha

Don’t avoid thinking

about what has happened in this country, is happening.

No escape but in understanding. To a feminist

this was the patriarchy — turning

the election by hook or crook and mostly crook.


Imagine it the last gasp, the ab-
reaction. Yeats wrote of cycles:

'The heart's vast and cratered purpose'

'In June the Labyrinth'

Photo of Hogue (left) © Sylvain Gallais.

Cynthia Hogue’s In June the Labyrinth turns from the meditations on grief and loss Revenance illuminated with tact and grace to the dimensions of mortality itself. The book’s protagonist, Elle, at once a distinct personality and a compilation of formidable women, suffers, recovers, and dies by the series’ end.

Translation's lucky hand

A review of 'Fortino Sámano'

To grasp this amazing book — this doubled and redoubled book — is indeed to hold a lucky hand. To read the words of Hogue and Gallais translating Virginie Lalucq and Jean-Luc Nancy is not just to devour a long poem. It is also to receive a device for reading poetry and for exploring the possibilities of lyric address, for opening spaces in and between two languages, French and English.

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