Tony Hoagland (1953-2018) was born in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. His father was an Army doctor, and Hoagland grew up on various military bases throughout the South. He taught at the University of Houston and in the low residency MFA program at Warren Wilson College. He lived in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and was married to the writer Kathleen Lee.
His first collection, Sweet Ruin (1992), won the Brittingham Prize in Poetry. His second, Donkey Gospel (1998), won the James Laughlin Award of The Academy of American Poets. The third, What Narcissism Means to Me (2003), was a finalist for the National Book Circle Critics Award. His first UK book of poems, What Narcissism Means to Me: Selected Poems (Bloodaxe Books, 2005) drew upon these three collections, and was followed by Unincorporated Persons in the Late Honda Dynasty (2010) and Application for Release from the Dream, published by Graywolf Press in the US in 2015 and by Bloodaxe in Britain in 2016. The final two collections he published in his lifetime were a small collection, Recent Changes in the Vernacular (Tres Chicas Press, 2017), and Priest Turned Therapist Treats Fear of God (Graywolf Press, 2018). The Bloodaxe UK edition of Priest Turned Therapist Treats Fear of God (2019) also includes some poems from Recent Changes in the Vernacular. His posthumously published final collection, Turn Up the Ocean (Bloodaxe Books, UK; Graywolf Press, USA, 2022), was assembled by Kathleen Lee from the poems he was writing in the year before his death from cancer. He also published Real Sofistikashun: Essays on Poetry and Craft (Graywolf Press, USA, 2006) and Twenty Poems That Could Save America and Other Essays (Graywolf Press, USA, 2014).
He was given a number of literary honours, including the Jackson Poetry Prize, awarded by Poets & Writers magazine; the Mark Twain Award, given by the Poetry Foundation; and the O.B. Hardison Jr. Prize from the Folger Shakespeare Library.
Books by Tony Hoagland