Daniel Hoffman (1923-2013)


With deep sadness, we must report the passing of Daniel Hoffman, an LSU Press author who was also one of America’s foremost men of letters.

Primarily a poet, Dan published fourteen books of poetry, six of them with LSU Press, including Next to Last Words, which has just appeared this spring. His early book-length poem Brotherly Love became a finalist for the National Book Award, and in 1973-74 he served as Consultant in Poetry of the Library of Congress, the appointment now called Poet Laureate of the United States.

Dan also wrote other kinds of books. In 1989 we published his critical work Faulkner’s Country Matters: Folklore and Fable in Yoknapatawpha. An earlier book of criticism was Poe Poe Poe Poe Poe Poe Poe, also a finalist for the National Book Award, reprinted by LSU Press in 1998. We are also proud to have published his unusual and elegant World War II memoir, Zone of the Interior.

From the time of his first LSU Press book in 1988, Hang-Gliding from Helicon: New and Selected Poems, Dan served as a prolific author and valued advisor to us. We are very proud of and grateful for our friendship with him, and we will certainly miss him.

Well, Wendell looks at the form.
He reads it real close, and then
he tells Jeanette to never mind,
let’s take us one last drive before we turn it in.

That night I never seen them coming round this curve,
I heard the orange rocketship blast off
already past me half a mile down the road
doing 90!

From “Shocks”
In The Whole Nine Yards: Longer Poems (2009)

Per Conta recently published a Festschrift for Daniel G. Hoffman in Celebration of His 90th Birthday