“Next to Last Words shows Daniel Hoffman to be at the height of his long and distinguished career. He makes us see the world in a new way, compelling for his visual accuracy and consummate technique. . . .”—Grace Schulman
“‘Oh but I was a songster in the days before the flood!’ croaks Daniel Hoffman’s raven, a doughty survivor. Stubborn joy and pulsing, minute attention movingly suffuse these late poems; we can be grateful that Hoffman’s world ‘is filled with importunate distractions.’”—Rachel Hadas
For sixty years Daniel Hoffman (1923-2013) drew on a lifetime of experiences to engage readers with his powerful imagination. The poems in Next to Last Words—illuminated by the poet’s unique vision and leavened by touches of humor—continue this tradition. Equally skilled in formal and free verse, Hoffman explores our place in the cosmos, our kinship with nature, the violent world in which we must live, and the intense love and grief common to everyone’s life.
Former poet laureate, Daniel Hoffman published fourteen books of poetry, including The Whole Nine Yards, Beyond Silence, and Brotherly Love, a finalist for both the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. His honors include the Arthur Anse prize for “a distinctive poet” from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and, from the Sewanee Review, the Aiken-Taylor Award for Contemporary American Poetry. He is the author of many critical studies, including Poe Poe Poe Poe Poe Poe Poe, also a National Book Award finalist. He taught at Swarthmore College and at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was the Felix Schelling Professor of English Emeritus.
April 8, 2013
96 pages, 6 x 9