Sunday Houses the Sunday House
By Elizabeth Hughey
(University Of Iowa Press, Paperback, 9781587295287, 70pp.)
Publication Date: April 2007
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2006 Iowa Poetry Prize winner
In Sunday Houses the Sunday House, Elizabeth Hughey embraces the possibility that we can learn as much from objects as we can from other people, from the inanimate as much as the animate. Each poem descends upon a place and a time, takes a few notes, and then leaves quietly without slamming any doors. Sunday Houses the Sunday House reveals what the world is like when your attention is focused elsewhere, when your head is turned the other way.
In ineffably beautiful verse, Hughey captures moments in time and place with confidence but without being judgmental. Although it may seem that the scope of these poems is rather small—a good party, a couple of eggs, a housekeeper’s daydream—they reveal both a deep intelligence and a spirit of whimsy. Gertrude Stein wrote that she wanted to be “drunk with nouns,” and in a sense that is what Hughey has accomplished here.
A native of Alabama, Elizabeth Hughey attended Hollins College and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where she received her MFA. Her poems have appeared in Shampoo, the Hat, and the Southern Poetry Review and are forthcoming in La Petite Zine. She lives and teaches in western Massachusetts.
“Elizabeth Hughey's poems leap forward, backward, and sideways, always giving us a fresh perspective. The poems are made of the daily objects of our lives, but thrown into a kaleidoscope so what we are left with is a vital vision of the world. The kinetic energy of each of her poems at first dazzles, then resolves in clarity. I love these poems.”—James Tate, author Worshipful Company of Fletchers and The Lost Pilot