Christina Pugh's previous collections of poems are Restoration (TriQuarterly Books, 2008) and Rotary (2004), which received the Word Press First Book Prize. Her awards include the 2008 Lucille Medwick Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America and a 2007 fellowship in poetry from the Illinois Arts Council. She is an associate professor in the Program for Writers at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Christina Pugh’s Grains of the Voice exhibits a pervasive fascination with sound in all its manifestations. The human voice, musical instruments, the sounds produced by the natural and man-made worlds—all serve at one time or another as both the framework of poems and the occasion for their lightning-quick changes of direction, of tone, of point of reference. The poems are eclectic in their allusiveness, filled with echoes—and sometimes the words themselves—of other poets, but just as often of songs both popular and obscure, of the noise of pop culture, and of philosophers’ writings. But Pugh always wears her learning lightly. Beneath the jewellike surfaces of her poems is a strenuous investigation of the nature of and need for communication and a celebration of the endless variety of its forms.
"Christina Pugh is a master of voice, its shades and swayings, and a superb shaper of sound and argument. In Grains of the Voice she shows herself a world-making poet, and presides over her creation with a fine, pressing energy."
TriQuarterly Books / Northwestern University Press