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Cover of The Woman in Red by Cynthia Hogue
December 1989
Ahsahta Press

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The Woman in Red

Cynthia Hogue

In this collection of narrative poetry, Cynthia Hogue layers dream-like images over one another to convey a sense of what it means to be a woman — though as Pamela Stewart mentions in her preface, “There are no cozy earth-mothers, simplistic in their decorative aprons ... . This is not ‘women’s poetry’ in any publisher’s-blurb sense.” Hogue’s women question identity and sex and being, as does the speaker of “The Seal Woman,” who sees her sisters transformed into humans by the calls of the men ashore. “They come down to the water to keen/ for their lost skin/…But I’ve caught/ their gaze and—dry so long—/ / their eyes fill with the sea.”


Cynthia Hogue is a professor emeritus of English at Arizona State University, where she held the Maxine and Jonathan Marshall Chair in Modern and Contemporary Poetry.

Praise for this book

"Cynthia Hogue’s poems are rooted not in place so much as in the interior spaces where relationships have been. While small-town America and the family tribe figure in many of these poems, they also evoke a universalized place where what is significant is what has been lost there and what may perhaps be retrieved. In the attempt to make tangible the ineffable, Hogue’s work is reminiscent of Tess Gallagher’s best poetry, in which psychological states are deftly dramatized."

Suzanne Shane
Western American Literature