The Woman in Red

1990, Ahsahta Press

Modern and Contemporary Poetry of the American West series

In this collection of narrative poetry, Cynthia Hogue layers dream-like images over one another to convey a sense of what it means to be a woman—though as Pamela Stewart mentions in her preface, “There are no cozy earth-mothers, simplistic in their decorative aprons…. This is not ‘women’s poetry’ in any publisher’s-blurb sense.” Hogue’s women question identity and sex and being, as does the speaker of “The Seal Woman,” who sees her sisters transformed into humans by the calls of the men ashore. “They come down to the water to keen/ for their lost skin/…But I’ve caught/ their gaze and—dry so long—/ / their eyes fill with the sea.”