Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Paul Hoover  

Pen Name: None


Audience: Adult;

Born: 1946 in Harrisonburg, Virginia

-- Paul Hoover on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Paul Hoover taught at Columbia College in Chicago, Illinois

Biographical and Professional Information

Hoover is best known for his poetry. He was a poet in residence at Columbia College in Chicago. More recently he was a Professor of Creative Writing at San Francisco State Universiey. He now lives in Mill Valley, California.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Letter to Einstein Beginning Dear Albert Poems
ISBN: 0916328120

Small Pr Distribution. 1979

Paul Hoover is a poet of urban dreams and expectations. This is an exciting and important first collection.

Nervous Songs: Poems
ISBN: 0934332460

L'Epervier Pr. 1986

Book by Hoover, Paul

Classroom Guide to Accompany Postmodern American Poetry: A Norton Anthology
ISBN: 0393964507

R.S. Means Company. 1994

Book by

Viridian (Contemporary Poetry Series)
ISBN: 0820318957

University of Georgia Press. 1997

Viridian is Paul Hoover's sixth collection of poetry and the first since his book-length work The Novel: A Poem was published in 1990. While The Novel: A Poem dealt with the dilemma of postmodern authorship, the poems in Viridian are conceptual pieces varied in style and subject matter.
The poems in the first of three sections comment on the world through language and simultaneously explore how subject matter, from baseball to death to highway signs, is transformed by language. The middle section consists of longer poems in which meaning emerges through a filter of language. In the final and most lyrical section, several poems are based on Hoover's screenplay for Joseph Ramirez's 1994 independent film, Viridian. Many of these poems were used as voice-overs for the film's main character, a single mother searching for permanence. Their language is incantatory, as if poetry could fix a place for her in the world.

ISBN: 1883689872

Talisman House, Publishers. 1999

The editor of the anthology POSTMODERN AMERICAN POETRY (Norton, 1994) and the author of six earlier books of poetry, Hoover is credited with helping expand the possiblities for the ironic perspective in American verse. Seeming to find little or no contradiciton between pop irony and lyrical intensity, and often shifting between the two with a remarkable freedom, Hoover writes poems that, according to Ron Padgett, glow with the pleasures of surprise. The selected poems are an ideal starting-place for readers new to Hoover, while the spare and resonant new poems offer his fans yet another slant in a fascinating trajectory.

Rehearsal in Black (Salt Modern Poets)
ISBN: 1876857315

Salt Publishing. 2001

These new poems by Hoover are dense, highly compact, and powerfully focused literary objects. (Poetry)

Winter (Mirror)
ISBN: 0971005958

Flood Editions. 2002

Poetry. Hoover writes of ceaseless change in life and culture, seeking to capture "the unrelenting/rush of things/in their freezing." These poems glide seamlessly from philosophy to family to American landscapes, all observed with keen wit as well as melancholy. Gillian Conoley has accurately referred to the "appetitive inclusionary impulse" of Hoover's work. Yet for all its exuberance, WINTER (MIRROR) expresses quiet wonder at the impenetrable surfaces of experience: "Simple things like bread,/you can't even think about them." "There is a cool precision in these poems, a striking aptness in the marrying of word to word. And in many of them, there is an unexpected tenderness only half-masked by Hoover's allegiance to exploring and mapping language's inherent imperfection"--Mary Jo Bang on "Viridian."

Fables of Representation: Essays (Poets On Poetry)
ISBN: 0472068563

University of Michigan Press. 2004

From the acclaimed author of Winter (Mirror) and Rehearsal in Black, Fables of Representation is a powerful collection of essays on the state of contemporary poetry, free from the stultifying theoretical jargon of recent literary history.

With its title essay, "Fables of Representation," one of the most cogent studies ever written of the New York School of poets (a group that includes the influential poet John Ashbery), this book is required reading for anyone who seeks to understand the poetry and culture of the postmodern period.

Author Paul Hoover's wide-ranging subjects include African-American interdisciplinary studies the position of poetry in the electronic age the notion of doubleness in the work of Harryette Mullen and others the lyricism of the New York School poets and the role of reality in American poetry. Hoover also introduces two provocative essays sure to generate attention and discussion: "The Postmodern Era: A Final Exam" and "The New Millennium: Fifty Statements on Literature and Culture."

Paul Hoover is the editor of the anthology Postmodern American Poetry and author of nine poetry collections, including Totem and Shadow: New and Selected Poems and Viridian. His poetry has appeared in American Poetry Review, The New Republic, and The Paris Review, among others. He is Poet-in-Residence at Columbia College, Chicago.

The Focused Shooter
ISBN: 1599160277

Paul Hoover. 2005

The Mind, Body & Soul of Pure Shooting. Step by step guide to Shooting Perfection.

Poems in Spanish
ISBN: 1890650250

Omnidawn. 2005

At once rhythmically charged and stilled by the silences, Paul Hoover's Poems in Spanish takes the English language into fraternity with the haunting lyricism of Spanish, and in this way pays tribute to the great poets writing in the Ibero Hispanic tradition of the 20th century-among them Pessoa, Lorca, Vallejo, Andrade, Neruda, Sabines. Poems in Spanish is a collection written in English, but it is an English that surprises with its sharply etched and yet resonant cadences. Hoover's achievement reminds us that we often must hear our own voice translated through other mediums before we can receive it most accurately, and before we can recognize most truthfully its sounding of our own deepest sensibilities. Hoover's poems include as their subjects the ethics of interpersonal relations, the social identity's conflicted relationship to self discovery, and the family bounds which function as a frame that both supports and limits our potential. Yet, just as we have come to see in Hoover's previous collections, this poet is equally interested in using subject matter's representation of event to examine what is occluded by the event of representation. These poems demonstrate how a reader can find in poetry a source of pleasure-for the ear, the heart, and imagination.

Edge and Fold
ISBN: 097446872X

Apogee Press. 2006

Poetry. "EDGE AND FOLD comes in short couplets that have the pith of aphorisms, but dismantle any expectation of closure. They push thinking over the edge into the folds of all minds. In this amazing plural space (tenuously tethered to the white of the page) subtle discriminating intelligences unfold lyric intensity into question, wonder, mystery. EDGE AND FOLD confirms Paul Hoover as one of our important poets"--Rosmarie Waldrop.

Black Dog, Black Night: Contemporary Vietnamese Poetry
ISBN: 157131430X

Milkweed Editions. 2008

The poems in Black Dog, Black Night highlight an aspect of Vietnamese verse previously unfamiliar to American readers: its remarkable contemporary voices. Celebrating Vietnam’s diverse and thriving literary culture, the poems collected here combine elements of French Romanticism, Russian Expressionism, American Modernism, and native folk stories into a Vietnamese poetic tradition marked by vivid imagery, powerful emotions, and inventive forms. Included here are 17 postmodern and experimental Vietnamese poets, including the founding editor of Skanky Possum magazine, as well as American poets of Vietnamese descent.

Sonnet 56 (Trenchart; Trenchart Maneuvers)
ISBN: 1934254126

Les Figues Press. 2009

Poetry. Paul Hoover's SONNET 56 mixes Love, Poetry and Shakespeare in a marvelous grab bag of form, wit and playfulness. Starting with Shakespeare's sonnet 56--"Sweet love, renew thy force, be it not said / Thy edge should blunter be than appetite"--Hoover writes 56 poetic variations, turning Shakespeare's sonnet into a series of new (and traditional) forms, including: "Villanelle," "Noun Plus Seven," "Limerick," "Blues," "Course Description," "Flarf," "Imagist," "Tanka," "Answering Machine," "Rilke," "Morse Code" and "Bad Writing." The result is tender portrayal of love and an excellent survey of the possibilities within contemporary poetry. SONNET 56 is published as part of the TrenchArt: Maneuvers Series, with an Introduction by Ian Monk and visual art by VD Collective.


Jerome J. Shestack Award, 2002

Contemporary Poetry Series Award, 1996

Carl Sandburg Award, 1987

General Electric Award for Younger Writers, 1984

NEO Fellowship, 1980

Speaking Engagements

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