Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Nathan Hoks  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Poetry

Audience: Adult;

Born: in Colorado

-- Nathan Hoks on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

I was raised in the northwest suburbs, attended Loyola University Chicago, and have recently returned to live in Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

Nathan Hoks is the author of two books of poetry, The Narrow Circle, forthcoming from Penguin, and Reveilles, which won Salt Publishing’s Crashaw Prize in 2010. He has also published a chapbook, Birds Mistaken As Wind, and a translation of Vicente Huidobro’s Arctic Poems. His translations and poems have appeared or are forthcoming in journals such as the Colorado Review, Crazyhorse, Lit, Circumference, and Verse. Hoks holds graduate degrees from the University of Iowa and the University of Wisconsin, and has received residency fellowships from the Vermont Studio Center and the Millay Colony for the Arts. He is currently an editor and letterpress printer for Convulsive Editions, a micro-press that publishes chapbooks and broadsides. He teaches at Columbia College and lives in Chicago with his family.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

The Narrow Circle (National Poetry Series)
ISBN: 0143123734

Penguin Books. 2013

Selected as a winner of the National Poetry Series by Dean Young

John Ashbery called Reveilles, Nathan Hoks’s debut book, a “dazzling” collection and Hoks a poet whose “fine gradations of observation turn the reader into a barometer of strong subtleties like those of the weather, that can be minute even as they affect us powerfully.” The poems in Hoks’s new book, The Narrow Circle, perform a similar magic. In associative lyrics and fabulist prose, Hoks explores inner and outer experiences. The poems frequently focus on the body as a membrane where everything becomes inside-out—where the “face disperses with angels of teeth and loam,” where “sky comes out of the mouth,” where a giant green worm “burrows a hole in the head,” and where the heart is a vestibule that cannot be closed. Suites of pictures within the text further delineate this inward-outward pull, offering visualizations of interior voices and sketches of exterior shadows.

ISBN: 1844717925

Salt Publishing. 2010

"The sense of the body flowing from an old comfortable posture / to a new exciting yet strange position" is the animating force in Nathan Hoks' dazzling first collection of poems. His fine gradations of observation ("exciting yet strange") turn the reader into a barometer of strong subtleties like those of the weather, that can be minute even as they affect us powerfully. These poems are like great gulps of fresh air.


  • National Poetry Series,
  • The Narrow Circle

  • Crashaw Prize,
  • Reveilles

    Speaking Engagements

    Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)