Books by Cynthia Hogue
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Or Consequence: Poems by Cynthia HogueOr Consequence: Poems
Red Hen Press 2010

The poems in Cynthia Hogue’s collection, Or Consequence, range from meditations on “freedom” to poems crossing cultural and formal boundaries. The first and third sections introduce a series of informal études, which contemplate timeless aspects of human experience (love, power, memory, trust, war and peace). Such subjects are brought to bear on language as excavation and reclamation in Hogue’s central section, a discrete series entitled “Under Erasure/ Ars Cora,” after the last slave, Cora Arsene, to use the courts to sue for freedom on the eve of the passage of the Fugitive Slave Law. In the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Hogue’s poem cycle meditates on traces: traces of a lost life, of a presence that has been erased, part of the palimpsest that is post-Katrina New Orleans (a city in which Hogue once lived). In the case of Cora Arsene, Hogue finds such a trace lying unnoticed, forgotten, but sign of a dynamic, courageous presence that persists. These poems invoke this presence in classic lyric strategy, but not to rëembody the lost but to follow the trace’s thread from the real to the sublime. Hogue’s is an innovative poetics of inquiry, an analytic lyric striking a balance between method and music, collage and image, and finally, between violence and that other ancient human capacity, love.

Read a selection from Or Consequence:

"Cora Arsene" printed as "Ars Cora (New Orleans 1838/2008)" published in jacket 38 (December 2009).

Read reviews of Or Consequence:

"Ross Leckie’s Best Poetry Books." Review by Ross Leckie. Fiddlehead: Atlantic Canada's International Literary Journal (30 June 2011).

"Or Consequence by Cynthia Hogue (Red Hen, 2010)" by Leslie Wheeler., published in the Washington and Lee University review, Shenandoah 61:1 (2011)

"Review: Cynthia Hogue's Or Consequence" by Scott Hightower, published in the arts review Fogged Clarity (April 2011).

“Wandering Spirit: ASU's Cynthia Hogue is haunted—and inspired—by time spent in New Orleans” by Jarret Keene, published in Tucson Weekly (10 March 2011).

Updated: January 2, 2014