Ishion Hutchinson

Ishion Hutchinson, photo by Beowulf Sheehan
Ishion Hutchinson, photo by Beowulf Sheehan

Ishion Hutchinson is the author of two poetry collections: Far District and House of Lords and Commons, which won the 2016 National Book Critics Circle Award. His works have appeared in several anthologies and journals such as Poetry, Prairie Schooner, the Nation, Granta, the Common, the Poetry Review (UK), Ploughshares, and the Caribbean Review of Books. He is a contributing editor to the literary journal Tongue.

House of Lords and Commons is a collection that traces the landscapes of memory, childhood and the author’s native Jamaica. “It is ragged and fiercely beautiful. Its double-edged language is both inviting and unsettling,” says Tess Taylor, NPR Poetry Reviewer. “Hutchinson’s poems are the skeins a thinker makes of trouble, of inequality, of global travel, of lost time.”

Hutchinson says he was drawn to storytelling in his youth. “I did not read a lot as a child because books were not readily available—neither was television, nor other forms of entertainment. The natural substitute was storytelling…” he says in a Q&A in the Paris Review. “But I am not telling a story, in the chief sense of the word, when making a poem. My concern then is with the integrity of the language, its music and shape in relationship to the images and credible feelings that cannot be left out.”

Hutchinson is the recipient of a Whiting Award in poetry, the PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award for Poetry, a Lannan Residency Fellowship, and the Larry Levis Memorial Prize from the Academy of American Poets. Born in Port Antonio, Jamaica, he moved to the United States in 2006 for graduate studies. He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of the West Indies, an MFA degree from New York University, and a doctorate degree from the University of Utah. He currently lives in Ithaca, New York, where he teaches in the graduate writing program at Cornell University.


selected bibliography

House of Lords and Commons by Ishion Hutchinson
House of Lords and Commons (2016)
The Garden by Ishion Hutchinson

The Garden (2013)
Far District by Ishion Hutchinson
Far District (2010)

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