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Upgraded to Serious

Written by Heather McHugh

  • 112 Pages
  • 9780887848414
  • 9.100" x 6.000"
  • POETRY / American


Publication Date September 01, 2009

National Book Award finalist Heather McHugh presents a fast-paced and brilliantly humorous book. Utilizing medical terminology to work through loss and detachment, McHugh's startling rhymes and rhythms -- along with her sarcastic self-reflection -- serve as antidotes to the sufferings of the world. Being "upgraded to serious" from critical condition is a nod to the healing powers of poetry.


Heather McHugh
Heather McHugh's books of poetry include the Pulitzer Prize finalist Eyeshot; the National Book Award finalist and Bingham Poetry Prize winner Hinge & Sign: Poems 1963-1993; and the Griffin Poetry Prize-winning translation (with Nikolai Popov) Glottal Stop 101: Poems of Paul Celan. McHugh was Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and is currently Milliman Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at the University of Washington in Seattle. She is also a fellow American Academy of Arts and Sciences.


"...exactingly ravishing poetry that digs deeply into big themes...In fact, we might even say McHugh has pioneered a new poetic genre: the meditative cliffhanger. Her poems take the shape of an idea or mood clarifying itself in stages, leaving readers on tenterhooks to find out where she'll go next." Globe and Mail

"McHugh is known as a challenging wordsmith, but, as this collection reveals, she is also a compassionate eyewitness." New Yorker

"McHugh's short, jerky lines, odd rhymes, bemused gravity and slant perspective on the world at hand bring Emily Dickinson to mind...McHugh remains one of our most important and unusual poets." Publishers Weekly

"No linguistic fragment or emotional register is too subtle or commonplace for the movement-the glow and flow-of [Heather McHugh's] imagination." Oxonian Review