Tom Andrews (poet)

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Tom Andrews (April 30, 1961 – July 18, 2001) was an American poet and critic.


Thomas Chester Andrews grew up in Charleston, West Virginia.[1] He got into the Guinness World Records at the age of eleven by clapping for fourteen hours and thirty-one minutes. He had dreams of being a stand-up comedian. He raced motocross as a teenager, but he stopped when he found out he had hemophilia. He had a major accident on an icy sidewalk that put him in the hospital for many weeks.

He worked as a copy editor for "Mathematical Review," a bibliographic journal for mathematicians, physicists, statisticians, logicians, historians, and philosophers of mathematics.

While he is best known for his poetry, he also wrote criticism and a memoir, Codeine Diary: True Confessions of a Reckless Hemophiliac.


Andrews graduated from Hope College (Summa Cum Laude) in 1984, spending second semester of his senior year at Oberlin College as an intern for FIELD (magazine).[2] In 1987 he graduated from the University of Virginia with an M.F.A. in Creative Writing.


Poet and critic Lisa Russ Spaar has called Tom Andrews "One of the great stylists — and one of the best, and under-known, poets — of the past 20 years."[3] His collection, The Hemophiliac's Motorcycle, is available online for free through the University of Iowa Press.[4]

Some scholars have examined his work through the lens of disability; as a hemophiliac, much of his poetry seems concerned with the body as spectacle, in its achievements as well as its limitations. As professor Susannah Mintz puts it in her article Lyric Bodies: Poets on Disability and Masculinity, published in PMLA in March 2012, "the speaker [of the title poem in The Hemophiliac's Motorcycle] presents himself as paradoxical: at risk and highly skilled, competitive and communal, worthy of respect for his talent and potentially feared or derided for the strange behavior of so metaphorically charged a substance as his blood."[5]

Personal life[edit]

Andrews married Carrie Garlinghouse in the late 1980s. They divorced in 1993.

At the time of his death, Andrews was engaged to Alice B. Paterakis of Athens, Greece, whom he had met at the American Academy in Rome, where both had been fellows.[6] They were to be married the week before he died.[7]


Andrews died in a London hospital on July 18, 2001, as a result of complications from thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura, a rare blood disease.[8] He was forty years old.




  • Random Symmetries: The Collected Poems of Tom Andrews. Oberlin College Press. 2002. ISBN 978-0-932440-92-1.
  • The Hemophiliac's Motorcycle. University of Iowa Press. 1994. ISBN 978-0-87745-452-6.
  • Brother's Country. Persea Books. 1990. ISBN 978-0-89255-151-4.





  1. ^ "Creative Writing | Department of English | West Virginia University".
  2. ^ "Tom Andrews Memorial Reading | Jack Ridl Visiting Writers Series".
  3. ^ "Los Angeles Review of Books". December 15, 2012.
  4. ^ Iowa Search Online
  5. ^ Mintz, Susannah B. (2012). "Lyric Bodies: Poets on Disability and Masculinity". PMLA. 127 (2): 248–263. doi:10.1632/pmla.2012.127.2.248. S2CID 145689815.
  6. ^ "When a Former Colleague Dies". The Chronicle of Higher Education. April 4, 2002.
  7. ^ "News from Hope College, Volume 33.2: October, 2001". Retrieved May 25, 2023.
  8. ^ Lynn Domina (April 15, 2011). Poets on the Psalms. Trinity University Press. pp. 190–. ISBN 978-1-59534-096-2.
  9. ^ "John Simon Guggenheim Foundation | Tom Andrews".

External links[edit]