Ishion Hutchinson

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Ishion Hutchinson

Ishion Hutchinson was born in Port Antonio, Jamaica. He attended the University of the West Indies, Mona, and holds an MFA in poetry from New York University. His work has appeared in the LA Review, Callaloo, Caribbean Review of Books and Poetry International.

Hutchinson is the author of the chapbook Bryan’s Bay, published by the Calabash Writer’s Series, as well as Far District (2010), his first full-length collection. Hutchinson says “[Far District] is really born on the various kinds of memories that are tied to the landscapes that I grew up in…the sea, the trees, the cliffs…Once you are a part of a landscape, it enters your body and you gain a precision of language that is almost geological.” He is the 2011 recipient of the Academy of American Poets’ Larry Levis Prize.

“At nights birds hammered my unborn”

At nights birds hammered my unborn
child’s heart to strength, each strike bringing

bones and spine to glow, her lungs pestled
loud as the sea I was raised a sea anemone

among women who cursed their hearts
out, soured themselves, never-brides,

into veranda shades, talcum and tea moistened
their quivering jaws, prophetic without prophecy.

Anvil-black, gleaming garlic nubs, the pageant arrived with sails unfurled
from Colchis and I rejoiced like a broken

asylum to see burning sand grains, skittering ice;
shekels clapped in my chest, I smashed my head against a lightbulb

and light sprinkled my hair; I rejoiced, a poui
tree hit by the sun in the room, a man, a man.

From Poetry (April 2014)



Reading with Meena Alexander | January 12, 2012