James Allen Hall
June 2010


James Allen HallJames Allen Hall is the author of Now You're the Enemy (Arkansas, 2008).  He has received a Lambda Literary Award, the 2009 Helen C. Smith Memorial Award from the Texas Institute of Letters, and fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, the University of Arizona Poetry Center, and the Sewanee Writers' Conference.  He teaches creative writing at SUNY—Potsdam.  Recent poems are forthcoming in American Poetry Review.

Statement of Poetics

I want a raw poetry, a poetry that is alive to its core.  I've always been arrested by poems that grab you by the collar in its dark alleys and empties you out.  So that it may take you in its arms, fill you fuller than you have ever felt before.  So that it may change the way you look, to quote Heather McHugh. 

Beauty, André Breton says, "will be convulsive or it will not be."  I want a poem that allows me to encounter the familiar in a shocking way.  I want to be instructed and delighted, smarter about the human experience. 

Poetry serves a social function as well.  Art certainly holds up a mirror to the world, but the reflection might also show us our more complex selves.  The poem is a fulcrum between the reader and the writer; somewhere in language they meet, they fall in love.  They change the world.

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