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The Armillary Sphere: Poems
by Ann Hudson
Ohio University Press, 2006
Cloth: 978-0-8214-1713-3 | Paper: 978-0-8214-1714-0 | eISBN: 978-0-8214-4223-4
Library of Congress Classification PS3608.U338A76 2006
Dewey Decimal Classification 811.6

Taking the warp of dream, sometimes nightmare, and weaving it with the ordinary world, the poems of The Armillary Sphere, Ann Hudson’s award-winning debut collection, do not simplify the mystery but deepen it. Just as the interlocking rings of the armillary sphere of the title represent the great circles of the heavens, so do the poems hereindemonstrate out of the beautiful, the extraordinary, and the cast off, a fresh scaffolding, a new way to see out from the center of our selves, a new measureof our relationship to the things of this world and the next.Chosen from hundreds of manuscripts as this year’s winner of the Hollis Summers Poetry Prize, Ann Hudson’s The Armillary Sphere possesses, inthe words of final judge Mary Kinzie, “. . . a brightness of spirit and quickness of thought that are conveyed with extraordinary care as she frames moments of experience. Her style is unobtrusive—no fireworks of phrasing obscure the thing felt and seen. So simple a device as taking an intransitive verb transitively can shed strong light on the moment: “A fine sheen /of sweat glistens the cocktail glasses,”—and Hudson studies emotions with a brave restraint that resists cliché, while deftly joining together intuitions that bring contradictoryor opposing charge. . . . Both circular and digressive, Hudson’s portrayal of beings of all ages poised on their varying thresholds brings a novelist’s sense of details unfolding into their future under the controlof a fine poet’s pure and condensed language of likeness.”

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