Henry Hart's three prior poetry collections are Background Radiation, The Rooster Mask, and The Ghost Ship. He has also published several critical books on modern poets, including The Poetry of Geoffrey Hill, Seamus Heaney: Poet of Contrary Progressions, Robert Lowell and the Sublime, and The James Dickey Reader. His 2000 biography, James Dickey: The World as a Lie, was runner-up for a Southern Book Critics’ Circle Award. He teaches at the College of William and Mary.
“Rarely do I find a book of poems so thoroughly engaging. Familiar Ghosts gathers the work of a poet schooled deeply in the traditions of English and American poetry. He allows their rhythms and tones to deepen his own, finding new music in old forms, often allowing a wry personal note to emerge, as when he writes: “During my third mid-life crisis, I fell in love / with my great-grandfather’s ghost,” a love affair that prompts him to retrace his ancestor’s expedition through the Gobi Desert. And that is only one of many journeys undertaken here. A reader sweeps the planet in this poetry, which radiates at-home-ness in a haunted world, with nature revisited in many places, always with a keen eye for descriptions that become genuine revelations. Henry Hart is one of our finest contemporary poets, and this is one of those books you will keep and revisit, discovering fresh places to dwell with each rereading.”