John Hoppenthaler

John Hoppenthaler’s books of poetry are Lives of Water (2003), Anticipate the Coming Reservoir (2008), and Domestic Garden (2015), all with Carnegie Mellon University Press. With Kazim Ali, he has co-edited a volume of essays and interviews on the poetry of Jean Valentine, This-World Company (U Michigan P, 2012). His poetry and essays appear in Ploughshares, Virginia Quarterly Review, Southern Review, New York Magazine, Barrow Street, Laurel Review, West Branch, The Literary Review, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Copper Nickel, Subtropics, Southern Humanities Review, Pleiades, Waccamaw, Blackbird, The Diagram, the anthologies A Face to Meet the Faces: An Anthology of Contemporary Persona Poetry (U of Akron P, 2012), The Incredible Sestina Anthology (Write Bloody Publishing, 2013), Blooming through the Ashes: An International Anthology on Violence and the Human Spirit (Rutgers UP, 2008), Making Poems: 40 Poems with Commentary by the Poets (State U of New York P, 2010), Literary Trails of Eastern North Carolina (U of North Carolina P, 2013), Poetry Calendar (Alhambra Publishing, 2006-2011), Southern Poetry Anthology VII: North Carolina (Texas Review Press, 2015), Eyes Burning at the Edge of the Woods: Fiction and Poetry from West Virginia (West Virginia UP, 2017), A Constellation of Kisses (Terrapin Books, 2019) and elsewhere. For the cultural journal Connotation Press: An Online Artifact, he edits “A Poetry Congeries”, and he is on the advisory board for Backbone Press, a press dedicated to marginalized voices. For nine years he served as Personal Assistant to Toni Morrison. He is a Professor of Creative Writing and Literature at East Carolina University.

Two Meditations on the Ecology

1. Siple Dome
 After three years of drilling, we reached
 bedrock, two-thirds of a mile under
 the humpbacked bulge of winter.
 Each season, six fresh inches of ice 

put us closer to Jesus on one side, machinery to whatever else …

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