Approaching the Center
Winner of the Josephine Miles / PEN Oakland National Literary Award
In this beautifully wrought first book, Myronn Hardy writes poems that explore the connection between places, examine where things lie. The poet travels to countries such as Spain, Brazil, South Africa, Cuba, and always manages to enter into discourse with both citizen and place. He gets inside, is inhabited himself, while he recovers kinship to a multifarious planet. Hardy is both traveler and witness, and Approaching the Center promises much more to come from this brilliant new writer.
“Myronn Hardy is a poet of the world, universal in the truest sense. He brings exquisite poetic diction and a gift for the image to the plazas of Havana, the villages of Madagascar, a tin schoolhouse in Soweto, an ancient wall in Rome scarred with racist graffiti. But this is not a collection of vacation poems; Hardy is sensitive to suffering and defiance of suffering all around him. The poet awakens ghosts, invoking Hughes and Lorca, two voices that resonate throughout the poems. Just as the poet spreads a map across a picnic table in Arkansas, showing his grandparents the ‘ghost lands’ of Africa they have forgotten, so he maps a world of poetry for the rest of us, drawing a line from Soweto to Little Rock. The poetry of Myronn Hardy is indelibly vivid; he makes a memorable debut.”
“A wondrous collection of poems, as compelling as stars. Stark arresting visions – Mr. Hardy’s voice recalls the word-magic of early Cornelius Eady. This collection charts the journey of a heart adrift in the world, the journey of a heart in search of itself. I salute these poems and I salute the wisdom and craft of their composer.”
“This wonderful first collection always recalibrates itself on the human heart. These poems are straightforward, quiet, robust in their smallness, never saying more than what has to be said. Here’s a book shaped by a keen sense of aesthetics that speaks for itself.”
Myronn Hardy is the author of two volumes of poetry, Approaching the Center, which won the PEN/Oakland Josephine Miles Award, and The Headless Saints(2008), winner of the 2009 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award from the The Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Foundation. His poems have appeared in Ploughshares, The Virginia Quarterly Review, Indiana Review, Tampa Review, Phoebe, Versal (Amsterdam), Third Coast, and elsewhere. His short stories have appeared in Gulf Coast, Callaloo, and Gargoyle. He has received fellowships from the Annenberg Foundation, Djerassi, Cave Canem, Instituto Sacatar, and Fundación Valparaiso. He has received degrees from the University of Michigan and Columbia University. He is currently completing his first novel. He lives in New York City. www.myronnhardy.com