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Put Your Hands In


Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets

96 pages / 6.00 x 9.00 inches / no illustrations

ebook available


  Paperback / 9780807155851 / March 2014

“Exactly a century ago, the Armory Show brought European avant-garde art to New York. We are still experiencing its consequences. Among the works on view was Marcel Duchamp’s notorious Nude Descending a Staircase, which a derisive critic wanted to rename ‘Explosion in a Shingle Factory.’ Both titles come to mind as one reads Chris Hosea’s Put Your Hands In, which somehow subsumes derision and erotic energy and comes out on top. Maybe that’s because ‘poetry is the cruelest month,’ as he says, correcting T. S. Eliot. Transfixed in midparoxysm, the poems also remind us of Samuel Beckett’s line (in Watt): ‘The pain not yet pleasure, the pleasure not yet pain.’ One feels plunged in a wave of happening that is about to crest.”—John Ashbery, from his judge’s citation

Born in Princeton, New Jersey, Chris Hosea earned an AB cum laude in English and American literature from Harvard College and an MFA in poetry from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. His poetry and other writings have appeared in publications such as BOMB, Conjunctions, Iowa Review, Harvard Review, and Denver Quarterly. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Praise for Put Your Hands In

“Sometimes charming, sometimes dangerous, Hosea's poems effectively play off of their contradictions: ‘the most beautiful birdsong I've heard // continues when lightbulbs come on.’”—Publishers Weekly

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