Reading Matters

Patricia Hooper’s poems of shimmering intelligence

One of the most enriching events for the state of North Carolina in recent years is when poet Patricia Hooper moved here from her native Michigan. She and her husband John settled in Gastonia, and Hooper, though she pined for significant snowfalls, continued writing her magnificent poems – quiet poems, stealthy poems, poems of shimmering insight and intelligence.

Now the Tampa Review & Tampa Press announce that Hooper has won the Anita Claire Scharf Award for her fifth collection, “Separate Flights,” to be published in 2016.

The prize selects one book each year that “speaks to aspects of the journal’s mission to praise and celebrate the beauty and diversity of the natural world; to illuminate the interconnectedness of our global environment; and to affirm the interrelatedness of visual and verbal art.”

Richard Matthews, editor of Tampa Review, said that Patricia Hooper’s collection quite literally “lifts off.” And he went on: “This brilliant and lyrical manuscript uses metaphors of flight -- includidng birds and planes and arts -- to explore and express the larger vision.”

“Separate Flights” is Hooper’s fourth full-length collection. Individual poems have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, The American Scholar, Poetry, Ploughshares, The Southern Review and The Kenyon Review. She is also the author of four children’s books.