ISBN: 978-1-62557-070-3
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Categories Poetry

The Under Hum

Publication Date: May 2024


What happens when two women write self-portraits “lined” by famous writers? The answer lies in the collaborative magic of Simone Muench and Jackie K. White’s The Under Hum, a gorgeous panoply of golden shovels, centos, and tangy tercets to make you love poetry again as a celebration of the thrills and surprises of language. “We are a strange syntax that cannot be mapped,” say the poets. And we were happy getting lost in their “Portrait as Landscape” sonnets, the sublime terrain constantly shifting and blooming with music metaphor, “with mirrors and seasons…stuck between no way and anyhow,” reminding us in the best possible way that “everything human is made up” and, in The Under Hum, we get to take pleasure in the result.

–Denise Duhamel & Maureen Seaton, co-authors of Caprice: Collected, Uncollected & New Collaborations

Collaboration means creation. These poems expand from that natural cycle of visionary poetry, that invites more than one poet to get involved with the poems, until language itself becomes a complete process of imagination and meaning. The result is a book that shares a complex world with the reader and proves that true poetry does not leave anyone alone.

—Ray Gonzalez, author of Suggest Paradise

The Under Hum is a spectacle of poetic collaboration. From the poets Simone Muench and Jackie K. White comes a collaborative collection of poems in various poetic forms from perspectives and lines from a wide range of authorial references. The book is almost operatic in its show of virtuosities both present and historic. . . This book delivers!

—Ed Roberson, author of Asked What Has Changed

About the Authors

Simone Muench

Simone Muench is the author of several books including Lampblack & Ash (Kathryn A. Morton Prize for Poetry and NYT Editor’s Choice; Sarabande, 2005), Orange Crush (2010 Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Poetry; Sarabande, 2010), and Wolf Centos (Sarabande, 2014). Her chapbook Trace won the Black River Chapbook Competition (Black Lawrence, 2014), and her collection, Suture, is a book of sonnets written with Dean Rader (Black Lawrence, 2017). She also co-edited the anthology They Said: A Multi-Genre Anthology of Contemporary Collaborative Writing (Black Lawrence, 2018). Some of her honors include an NEA Poetry Fellowship, several Illinois Arts Council fellowships, the Marianne Moore Prize for Poetry, and residency fellowships to Yaddo, Artsmith, VCCA, and VSC.

In 2014, she was awarded the Meier Foundation for the Arts Award that recognizes artists for innovation, achievements, and community contributions; and, in 2023, she received the Lewis University Career Scholarship Award granted “to a faculty member for their lifetime achievement in scholarly activity.” She received her PhD from the University of Illinois and is a professor of English at Lewis University where she teaches creative writing and film studies. Currently, she serves as faculty advisor for Jet Fuel Review, as poetry editor for JackLeg Press, as a senior poetry editor for Tupelo Quarterly, and creator of the HB Sunday Reading Series.

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© Diane Cabrera

Jackie K. White

Jackie K. White has has been an editor with RHINO, faculty advisor for Jet Fuel Review, and professor of English at Lewis University. She has published three previous chapbooks--Bestiary Charming (Anabiosis), Petal Tearing & Variations (Finishing Line), and Come clearing (Dancing Girl)--along with numerous single-authored poems and translations in such journals as ACMBayou, Fifth Wednesday, FolioQuarter after EightSpoon River, Third CoastTupelo Quarterly, and online at prosepoem.com, seven corners, shadowbox, and superstitionreview.com, among others. An assistant editor for They Said: A Multi-Genre Anthology of Contemporary Collaborative Writing, her collaborative poems (with Simone Muench) have appeared in Ecotone, Hypertext, The Journal, Pleiades, and others. 

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