Christine Hume

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Christine Hume (born 1968) is an American poet and essayist. Christine Hume is the author of three books of poetry, Musca Domestica (2000), Alaskaphrenia (2004), and Shot (2010) and six chapbooks, Lullaby: Speculations on the First Active Sense (Ugly Duckling Press, 2008), Ventifacts (Omnidawn Press, 2012), Hum (Dikembe Press, 2014), Atalanta: an Anatomy (Essay Press, 2016), Question Like a Face (Image Text Ithaca, 2017), a collaboration with Jeff Clark and Red: A Different Shade for Each Person Reading the Story (PANK Books, 2020). The Saturation Project, three long interlinked essays in the form an experimental memoir, will be published in 2019 by Solid Objects Press. She is currently the coordinator of the Creative Writing Program at Eastern Michigan University.


Hume received her BA, MFA, and PhD from Penn State University, Columbia University School of the Arts, and University of Denver, respectively. She has taught at Stuyvesant High School, Illinois Wesleyan University, The School of the Art Institute in Chicago and is currently a Professor of English at Eastern Michigan University,where she has worked since 2001.[1] In recent years, Hume has developed an scholarly interest in sound poetry, writing on audio documentary poetics, radio, and the work of female sound poets. From 2006-2010 she hosted an internet radio program, Poetry Radio, featuring contemporary and historic performance arts, sound poetry, audio narratives, sound art, and collaborations between writers and musicians. She has collaborated on sonic arrangements for her work with Stephen Vitiello, Gregory Whitehead, Ben Miller, and other musicians. In the last decade, Hume’s creative interests shifted to nonfiction.

In 2002, she was one of two Americans invited to an international festival, “Days of Poetry and Wine” in Slovenia; in 2006, she taught a poetry workshop in St. Petersburg for Summer Literary Seminars, and in 2012 she taught a writing workshop on the walk in Lisbon for Disquiet: Dzanc Books International Literary Program.


  • Barnard Women Poets Prize 1999
  • Green Rose Award
  • 2005 Best Book of the Year Award, Small Press Traffic
  • Fine Arts Work Center Fellow 1998-99
  • Wurlitzer Foundation 2000
  • Fund For Poetry 2002
  • MacDowell Colony residency 2003


Musca Domestica, Hume's first book of poetry and winner of the Barnard New Women Poets Prize, was published in 2000 by Beacon Press. Her second book, Alaskaphrenia, winner of the Green Rose Award and Small Press Traffic's Best Book of 2004 Award, was published in 2004 by New Issues. Her most recent book, Shot, was published in 2010 by Counterpath Press. Her chapbooks include Lullaby: Speculations of the First Active Sense (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2008), Ventifacts (Omnidawn Books, 2012), Hum (Dikembe, 2013), Atalanta: an Anatomy (Essay Press, 2016), a text image collaboration with her partner, Jeff Clark, Question Like a Face (ITI Press, 2017), which was one of The Brooklyn Rail's"Best Nonfiction Book of 2017" and Red: A Different Shade for Each Person Reading the Story (PANK Books, 2020).

Her prose and criticism have appeared in Harper's, Architecture and Culture, Conjunctions, Denver Quarterly, Contemporary Literature, Rain Taxi, Chicago Review, How2, Afgabe, Constant Critic, Womens Studies Quarterly as well as three volumes of a series by Wesleyan University Press, Poets in the 21st Century.

  • "LUNAR HALO", Typo 6
  • "Noctilucent Elegy"; "Ward"; "Her Night Lamb", Cocoanut 7
  • Various Readings of an Illegible Postcard
  • Musca Domestica. Beacon Press. 2000. ISBN 978-0-8070-6859-5.
  • Alaskaphrenia. Western Michigan University. 2004. ISBN 978-1-930974-40-1.
  • Lullaby, Ugly Duckling Presse, 2007 (a chapbook)


  • James Tate, David Lehman, eds. (1997). "Helicopter on a Hill". Best American Poetry 1997. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 978-0-684-81452-0.CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter (link)
  • Gerald Costanzo, Jim Daniels, eds. (2000). American Poetry: the Next Generation. Carnegie Mellon University Press. ISBN 978-0-88748-343-1.CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter (link)
  • No Crossing Guards (University of Iowa 2004)
  • Brett Fletcher Lauer, Aimee Kelley, ed. (November 1, 2004). Isn't It Romantic: 100 Love Poems by Younger American Poets. Wave Books. ISBN 978-0-9746353-1-6.
  • Brian Henry, Andrew Zawacki, eds. (2005). The Verse Book of Interviews: 27 Poets on Language, Craft & Culture. Wave Books. ISBN 978-0-9746353-5-4.CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter (link)
  • Michael Dumanis, Cate Marvin, ed. (2006). Legitimate Dangers: American Poets of the New Century. Sarabande. ISBN 978-1-932511-29-1.
  • Catherine Wagner, Rebecca Wolff, eds. (2007). Not for Mothers Only: Contemporary Poems on Child-Getting and Child-Rearing. Fence. ISBN 978-0-9771064-8-6.CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter (link)
  • Christina Mengert, Joshua Marie Wilkinson, eds. (2008). 12x12. University of Iowa Press. ISBN 978-1-58729-791-5.CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter (link)


Christine Hume’s first collection, Musca Domestica, presented a remarkably coherent set of motifs and themes that articulate a governing aesthetic. Her second book Alaskaphrenia offers readers another ambitious articulation of philosophical insight and rich meditation on human consciousness.[2]

Chris Champanioni writes of Question Like a Face: "This is the oft-stated because of the book, the function of Hume repeatedly insisting—beginning in the preface—that we might be the cause, implicating ourselves, surely, but also suggesting that we might take up the occasion, too, for resistance and remonstration, a reason or motive for human action. And it is these nuances, this unflinching desire to get out of the reduction of right and wrong, good and bad, dualities and binaries, and to probe deeper, drill farther, reveal the horizon between settling and unsettling, the ways in which we try to find a form for these facts or how we fail to that make me stay with this book..."[3]

Joe Sacksteder on Question Like a Face: "Philosopher Emmanuel Levinas famously wrote that every face says "Don't kill me"; Hume/Clark's chapbook—the title of which can be read as command or description—both bears witness to this empathetic capacity of our species and puts pressure on its idealistic shortcomings. Rather: "How many times, her face is telling." We must question for faces no longer there to be unheeded, using art and every other tool at our disposal to dereify statistics on violence, narratives bent to serve the satisfied."[4]


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