In his second book of poetry, H L Hix uses two contrasting poetic sequences. 'Orders of Magnitude' defies rationality in favour of invention in the musical sense: producing a short composition that works out a single idea. As in music, the whole composition achieves its irrational effect through rational formal structure, with 100 poems, each ten lines long, with ten syllables per line. In the second sequence, 'Figures', the speakers follow their 'pure' rationality, though it leads them -- inevitably -- into the dark heart of the irrational. The result is a ledger of love and loss, a balancing of grief's books.
H. L. Hix is an author, a poet, and the former director of the creative-writing MFA program at the University of Wyoming. In 2006 he was a finalist for the National Book Award for Poetry. He lives in Laramie, Wyoming.