blackbird online journal Spring 2008  Vol. 7  No. 1




spacer Lynda Hull's Collected Poems
   Collected Poems, Greywolf Press, 2006

The ruggedly inventive and impassioned poetry of Lynda Hull has continued to gather new readers and fans since her death, distinguishing her as a resilient presence in American poetry. A few years back, many poets had to rely on photocopies to gain admission to this writing which was being described, increasingly often, as indispensable. Now, on the occasion of Hull’s work again becoming available in a recently published collected volume, this issue of Blackbird offers a number of appreciations of the poetry and the poet.

Susan Aizenberg was once a student of Lynda Hull’s (“once Lynda’s student, always her student,” she confirms) and has contributed an essay which offers an affectionate, detailed portrait of the artist as well as an extensive overview of Hull’s striking capacities as a risk-taking writer and an energizing teacher.    

On January 31, 2008, a remarkable panel titled “A Tribute to the Poetry of Lynda Hull” was presented during the 2008 Assocation of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) Annual Conference in New York City. Organized by David Wojahn, who was married to Lynda Hull, the panel brought attention to the enduring influence of Hull’s writing and to the publication of her Collected Poems (Graywolf Press, 2006) as the inaugural volume in the Graywolf Poetry Re/View Series, which brings important works of contemporary American poetry back into print. Panelists included Wojahn and Mark Doty, coeditors of the collected volume, as well as David Jauss, Brenda Shaughnessy, and Elizabeth Alexander. Blackbird recorded the panel, and the audio is presented here along with the texts of the individual essays (which may differ slightly from the audio in some few places where they were later edited by their authors), as well as a video recording—screened at the conclusion of the panel—of Lynda Hull reading her poem “The Window” in 1994 at the Art Institute of Chicago.

—Gregory Donovan  

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