POEMS by Michael Hughes

About The Book

Michael Hughes’ FIRST RISINGS is full of longing for the authentic remembrance. These meditations on family history, the quotidian and residual repay the readers’ scrutiny with abundant grace. —Thomas Lynch

There is so much to praise in this fine first collection: the poet’s stunning powers of observation; the originality and sensuality of the images; the way the poems manage to be playful and grave at exactly the same time. Yet what strikes me most is Hughes’ comfort with matters most people look away from. Whether it be the decay of aging bodies or the vicissitudes of long relationships, failed dreams or unromantic death, Hughes confronts his subjects head-on with honesty and ​quiet grace, then pushes through their darkness to surprise us with their light. —Ann Pancake, author of Given Ground, collection of short stories, and Strange as This Weather Has Been, a novel, as well as many award-winning short stories.

Wrestling with ancient dilemmas of identity—wise or foolish? romantic or realist? These poems are imbued with a quiet hope, not for redemption or even immunity from loss, but for the grace to bear what we must with dignity and a dose of mischief. Here are instructions for how to get through a day with a sore toe, for how and why to imagine our griefs, and for how to return from despair. With exquisite attention to sound and a painter’s love of color and texture, Michael Hughes has fashioned provocative poems of pure pleasure. This is a marvelous debut. —Barbara Hurd, author of Stirring the Mud: On Swamps, Bogs, and Human Imagination and other award-winning essays and poems.

About the author.

Michael Hughes has been writing since high school, first lured to poetry by Robert Frost and Emily Dickinson. He takes his inspiration from nature, and from the fascinating, silly, tragic, endearing things people do. This is his first collection. With family deep in the soil of West Virginia, he now lives with his wife Janet in Benzie County, Michigan, which he also considers almost heaven.

Michael Hughes