Remembering a Great Poet: Hugh Fox, 1932-2011

Most anyone in the literary world, particularly the poetry sphere, understands that we’re currently experiencing a substantial surge in general interest in the arts, and creative writing especially.  Like never before, you can find thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands, of poems and short stories available online, entirely free.  If you’re willing to spend a few dollars, your prospects for quality literature multiply ten-fold.

There are countless fledgling poets and fiction writers flexing their literary muscles in hopes that their voice, with its own unique texture, will be heard.  Much, if not all of this resurgence, is thanks to Dr. Hugh Fox.

From the Poetry Foundation:

“In today’s sad news: Novelist and poet Hugh Fox has passed away. One of the main players in the small-press/mimeo revolution of the sixties and seventies, he died in hospice care yesterday, September 4, 2011, in East Lansing, Michigan. Born in Chicago in 1932, Fox was the author of over 62 books (Lansing State Journal reports that he wrote over 200 novels!), with many of them on anthropology; and he was professor emeritus at Michigan State University. He also co-founded the Pushcart Prize, and was the first writer to publish a critical study of Charles Bukowski. Fox spent many years in Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, Mexico, Spain, and Chile, and his poetry reflected that. As John Bennett said of Fox’s book Approaching:

These are love poems in the broadest sense, a love for the people of Brazil, for their food, their music, their country and their sensual nature, but at the same time, they are poems about approaching death. This is a remarkable feat, greeting death with a paean to life, and Fox accomplishes it with grace and ease, another aspect of his nature, an overflowing generosity and kindness.

These poems are fluid. They flow one into the other, and in place of titles, the first few words of each poem are printed in an italic bold font. There is no line between death and life, the two intermingle.

Some excerpts:

“morning coffee, guava paste, granola, strawberry yogurt…and even I am just a sea-breeze that comes and
goes invisibly…”

A selected bibliography can be found here. Our hearts go out to his family and friends.


He will me missed and mourned by many, but we can celebrate his amazing life and accomplishments through the art he loved so much.


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