Tony Hoagland

Scope and Content

Consists of letters and proofs relating to the published poetry works of Tony Hoagland.

Administrative / Biographical History

Tony Hoagland was born in 1953 in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. His father was an Army doctor, and Hoagland grew up on various military bases throughout the South. He currently teaches at the University of Houston.

His first collection, Sweet Ruin (1992), won the Brittingham Prize in Poetry. His second, Donkey Gospel (1998), won the James Laughlin Award of The Academy of American Poets. The third, What Narcissism Means to Me (2003), was shortlisted for a National Book Circle Critics Award. His first UK book of poems, What Narcissism Means to Me: Selected Poems (Bloodaxe Books, 2005) drew upon these three collections, and was followed by Unincorporated Persons in the Late Honda Dynasty (2010). He has also published Real Sofistikashun: Essays on Poetry and Craft (Graywolf Press, USA, 2006).

He won the 2008 Jackson Poetry Prize, awarded by Poets & Writers magazine. In 2005 he received the O.B. Hardison Jr. Prize, awarded by the Folger Shakespeare Library; this is the only national prize to recognise a poet's teaching as well as his art. Hoagland also received the 2005 Mark Twain Award, given by the Poetry Foundation in recognition of a poet's contribution to humour in American poetry; of this award Stephen Young said, 'There is nothing escapist or diversionary about Tony Hoagland’s poetry. Here’s misery, death, envy, hypocrisy, and vanity. But the still sad music of humanity is played with such a light touch on an instrument so sympathetically tuned that one can’t help but laugh. Wit and morality rarely consort these days; it’s good to see them happily, often hilariously reunited in the winner’s poetry.'