31 Letters and 13 Dreams: Poems

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W. W. Norton & Company, Nov 17, 1977 - Poetry - 71 pages

Richard Hugo, whom Carolyn Kizer has called” one of the most passionate, energetic, and honest poets living,” here offers an extraordinary collection of new poems, each one a “letter” or a “dream.” Both letters and dreams are special manifestations of alone-ness; Hugo’s special senses of alone-ness, of places, and of other people are the forces behind his distinctively American and increasingly authoritative poetic voice.

Each letter is written from a specific place that Hugo has made his own (a “triggering town,” as he has called it elsewhere) to a friend, a fellow poet, an old love. We read over the poet’s shoulder as the town triggers the imagination, the friendship is re-opened, the poet’s selfhood is explored and illuminated. The “dreams” turn up unexpectedly (as dreams do) among the letters; their haunting images give further depth to the poet’s exploration. Are we overhearing them? Who is the “you” that dreams?
 

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Contents

Letter to Kizer from Seattle
3
Letter to Bellfrom Missoula
5
Letter to Sister Madeline from Iowa City
6
In Your Fugitive Dream
8
Letter to Simic from Boulder
9
Letter to Matthews from Barton Street Flats
11
In Your War Dream
13
Letter to Ammons from Maratea
14
Letter to Gale from Ovando
41
Letter to Welch from Browning
42
In Your Racing Dream
44
Letter to Snyder from Montana
45
Letter to Scanlon from Whitehall
46
Letter to Wright from Gooseprairie
48
In Your Wild Dream
49
Letter to Haislip from Hot Springs
50

Letter to Hanson from Miami
16
In Your Bad Dream
18
Letter to Annick from Boulder
19
Letter to Mantsch from Havre
21
In Your Young Dream
23
Letter to Reed from Lolo
24
Letter to Peterson from the Pike Place Market
26
Letter to Stafford from Polson
27
In Your Small Dream
29
Letter to Hill from St Ignatius
30
Letter to Wagoner from Port Townsend
32
Letter to Bly from La Push
34
In Your Blue Dream
35
Letter to Libbey from St Regis
36
Letter to Logan from Milltown
38
In Your Hot Dream
40
Letter to Mayo from Missoula
52
Letter to Levertov from Butte
54
In Your Dream on the Eve of Success
56
Letter to Kathy from Wisdom
57
Letter to Goldbarth from Big Fork
59
In Your Big Dream
61
Letter to Birch from Deer Lodge
62
Letter to Oberg from Pony
63
Letter to Blessing from Missoula
64
In Your Dream after Falling in Love
66
Letter to Gildner from Wallace
67
Note to R H from Strongsville
69
In Your Good Dream
71
Back Cover
73
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About the author (1977)

Richard Hugo was for many years the director of the creative writing program at the University of Montana, Missoula Campus. He received the Theodore Roethke Memorial Prize and was twice nominated for the National Book Award.

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