Mark Hudson


Marc Hudson is a poet who taught for many years at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana, where he resides. He has published a translation of Beowulf as well as four books of poetry: Afterlight, Journal for an Injured Son, The Disappearing Poet Blues and East of Sorrow, and the chapbook Island. His book length manuscript, Swimming the Acheron, was a finalist for the 2014 National Poetry Series. His awards include an NEA Fellowship in Poetry, the Juniper Prize, the Strousse Award, and the Allen Tate Prize. His poems have appeared in Poetry, The Sewanee Review, Poetry Northwest, Poet Lore and many other journals.

In regards to his poetry, he writes:
Though I have sometimes begun my poems at Shades [State Park], or wherever inspiration has overtaken me, usually I scribble my drafts at the capacious writing desk my father made for me forty years ago. That, in fact, is where I’m sitting now, gazing through a window at our garden and its stoical kale and chard, and what’s left of the rifled seed heads of the sunflowers. But I can write pretty much anywhere, fortunately, poems being such portable things.

I treasure the old forms. I don’t buy the notion that because of quantum physics or stochastic ecosystems, etc. we must write in open form. Yet the contemporary, or almost contemporary, poets, who have most spoken to me—Williams, Pound, Neruda, Machado, Snyder, Stafford, Olds, Kinnell—so many others—mostly work in so-called free verse, and working in “free verse” is where I usually find myself. As I see it, the cosmos unfolds moment by moment as does our planetary ecosystem, and so too does the poem arise in the flow of consciousness as the stream of the world impinges on it. Open form seems more congenial to the nature of that fluid mental process that in some fashion corresponds to the cosmic one.

East of Sorrow

EAST OF SORROW is Marc Hudson’s fourth full-length collection of poems. In some ways, it is a continuation of his last two books, for it brings to a close the poetic journal of his life with his son, Ian, who died in 2002. But this book is equally about his daughter, Alix. Parenthood is a persistent theme in EAST OF SORROW: its pain because time is a slow mitigator, and its joy at seeing a vivacious young woman come into her own. A Christian perspective inflects some of these poems; others are distinctly Buddhist. More broadly, the book is a meditation on water, its shaping and animating presence on our planet. In its final section, the book moves fully out into the natural world; the personal gives way to the ecological, to a contemplation of our planet in this age that is sometimes called the Anthropocene. Though elegiac in places, EAST OF SORROW ends in praise.