Arc International Poets series
Poetry Book Society Recommendation Winter 2005
Bluegrass Wasteland draws on T R Hummer's seven collections of poetry published between 1978 and 2003 and serves to locate him as one of America's most distinguished poets.
His work is characterised by a mixture of intellectual and emotional observation; his poems leap off the page through the sheer scope of his imagination. A master of the longer poem, he draws on his skills as a saxophonist and one-time band member to give his narrative a rhythm and drive that make for utterly compelling reading.
Of Hummer's most recent collection, Useless Virtues, the eminent American poet and critic Richard Howard writes: "The whole book... is so intelligent... that I am not at all embarrassed, only proud to hail Hummer - along with John Koethe and Alan Grossman - as a principal poet of the American mind."
"... a shock of recognition, and a delight in discovering the strength of the writing. ... a driving, compelling quality which echoes the musical genre his title alludes to... They say the best jazz musicians have an instantly recognisable voice; listen to this."
— PBS Bulletin no 207, 2005
Published November 2005