The Sunday Poem: Tung-Hui Hu





Early Winter, After Sappho


Some say the air of
early winter moving through
windows. For some, black ships

coming towards the city
are the quietest sounds on earth.
But I say it is with whomever one loves.

And very easily proved:
when we are trying to think of
something to say to each other,

each remembering back
who said what, the ground
we’ve already covered,

you can hear all the money
lost earlier in the stock market,
even fresh water slipping
into salt water.





About Tung-Hui Hu

Tung-Hui Hu is the author of Mine (Ausable Press, 2007) and The Book of Motion (University of Georgia Press, 2003). His poems have appeared in The New Republic, Ploughshares, and AGNI. His third collection Greenhouses, Lighthouses, forthcoming from Copper Canyon Press in October, won the 2007 James D. Phelan Literary Award. Described by the San Francisco Foundation as a “provocative gesture towards cinematography,” the book is composed of a series of palinodes, a form that sings back or recants a previous error.

A native of San Francisco, Tung-Hui Hu has worked as a political consultant and computer scientist, and holds degrees from Princeton, Michigan, and UC Berkeley. He is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Michigan and a member of the Michigan Society of Fellows. His nonfiction piece, A History of Clouds in the Desert, examines the legacy of atomic blasts and electronic warfare in the empty spaces of the Nevada desert.

Speaking of Tung-Hui Hu’s poetry, Mark Doty said, “This fresh and unexpected poet extends the lyric into the social space without losing any of song’s intensity or mystery, so that these casually elegant, affecting poems feel as interior as they are worldly.”

For more information about Tung-Hui Hu, please visit his website.











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“Early Winter, After Sappho” © Tung-Hui Hu and was reprinted with permission from the author.


By | 2016-11-11T21:53:26+00:00 01.14.12|The Sunday Poem, Words|Comments Off on The Sunday Poem: Tung-Hui Hu

About the Author:

I’ve spent almost 20 years helping thousands of successful artists of all disciplines and working to make the arts more accessible. (One friend likes to call me “the arts enabler.”) From 1999-2012 I worked at The MacDowell Colony, the nation’s oldest artist colony, but I've also done time at an arts magazine, a library, an art museum, and a raptor rehabilitation center. In May of 2012 I left MacDowell to pursue writing, speaking, curating, and creative projects full-time. In 2015 I was named a “Top 100 Artist, Innovator, Creative” by Origin magazine. I've appeared as an arts and culture commentator on New Hampshire Public Radio, and in 2017 I was the recipient of the Wampler Art Professorship at James Madison University. I am the founder of the Gwarlingo Salon series, which connects artists like DJ Spooky with rural audiences in the Monadnock region. In 2017 my collaborator Corwin Levi and I will publish our first book, Mirror Mirrored, which combines Grimms’ fairy tales with vintage illustration remixes and the work of contemporary artists like Kiki Smith, Carrie Mae Weems, and Amy Cutler. I grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, but have called New Hampshire home since 1999. My studio is located in the historic, mill village of Harrisville. I miss fried okra, the early southern spring, and restaurants that stay open past 9:00 p.m., but rural life agrees with me. In New Hampshire I can see the stars, go kayaking or snowshoeing, watch bald eagles fish in the lake, and focus on my creative work in silence. I no longer have to worry about traffic jams; deer, wild turkeys, and frost heaves are the primary road hazards here. Although I live in the country, I’m fortunate enough to be part of a vibrant arts community that extends beyond this small New England village. The quiet days are punctuated by regular travel and frequent visits to museums, theaters, readings, arts events, lectures, and open studios around the country. (You can read my full CV here.) Thanks for visiting Gwarlingo. I hope you'll be in touch.