Skip to main content
Cover for Revenance


Cynthia Hogue


List Price: 18.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


By turns elegiac, ecopoetic, and impolitic, Cynthia Hogue’s eighth collection, Revenance, is a condensery of empathic encounters with others and otherness. Hogue coins a word—from revenant, French for ‘ghost’—to consider questions of life and afterlife, and to characterize the ways in which the people and places we love return to us, and return us to ourselves, holding us to account. The poems of Revenance contain telling touchstone figures, like a guide named Blake who, noting signs of global warming, will speak of spirits but not angels; a man who dies and is brought back to life by the imaginative power of love; and a woman who can speak the language of endangered trees. While writing these poems, Hogue journeyed often across country to her familial roots in upstate New York in order to help care for her dying father. At last she began to record some of the many stories she heard of mysterious encounters and visitations, such as she herself was soon to witness, over several intensive years. Although grief silvers the threads of these poems, Hogue pares away the personal in order to be present to others in a fiercely engaged and innovative poetry.

Praise For Revenance

“The pitch of language can isolate image almost against memory, but as an instrument of its music. This is done across Hogue’s new collection, Revenance, with an almost abstract, muralistic importance. I do love these poems—here is the balance of both color and flower naming the rose.”
—Norman Dubie
“Cynthia Hogue’s irony exists on the page of her poems as a profoundly gentle nudge to the spirit beyond the page—an acknowledgement that the world in all its glorious, fragile wonder is nonetheless a locus of grief and longing. For Hogue, the poem is a place of partial, and therefore always vulnerable, utterance—an impossible place that we arrive at in spite of ourselves . . . as she puts it, a ‘mystery / of frond fern / gorse a magic / to which / I relate to’—those line breaks and syntax expressing—with an Oppen-like clarity and a Susan Howe-like visual precision—the wonder of this poet and the new poems in Revenance.”
—Karen Brennan 
“In her splendid eighth collection of poems, Cynthia Hogue looks deep and listens hard, finding the ‘In / Visible’ in the visible, straining to hear ‘something, and more.’ Whether she’s inhabiting landscape or exploring art, Hogue seeks what eludes us, whether in depth or evanescence. Absence looms, in our impoverished and polluted earth, in the scraps of a lost interview, in the foreshadowed elegies that close the book; but the poet’s deft use of language and form allow both what is and what is no more to be ‘bodied forth, returning like a revenant: not whole, but changed.’”                                                                             
—Martha Collins

Red Hen Press, 9781597095419, 112pp.

Publication Date: August 26, 2014

About the Author

Cynthia Hogue has published seven previous collections of poetry, most recently, Or Consequence and When the Water Came: Evacuees of Hurricane Katrina (interview-poems and photographs), both in 2010. Among her honors are a Fulbright Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in poetry, the H.D. Fellowship at the Beinecke Library at Yale University, an Arizona Commission on the Arts Project Grant, and the Witter Bynner Translation Residency Fellowship at the Santa Fe Art Institute. She is the Maxine and Jonathan Marshall Chair in Modern and Contemporary Poetry in the Creative Writing Program at Arizona State University.