Ghost Money

This book is the winner of the 1986 Juniper Prize, the annual poetry award sponsored by the University of Massachusetts Press.


Unlike many first collections, Ghost Money is not merely about the writer's process of self-discovery; it is also about the more difficult and ambitious project of self-acceptance. Though Hull's poems are narrative in structure, their language is precise and intensely lyrical. The craftsmanship of the poems does not suggest, however, that the writer is content with a mere linguistic tour de force. These are poems that both strive to let their speaker come to terms with her own past and give memorable speech to the many characters who people the book's pages. Though Hull includes poems of family and personal history in this collection, she is also significantly concerned with the voices of characters who are often imperfectly treated in contemporary poetry--the wronged social outcasts and eccentrics whose testimony Hull conveys with honesty and sympathy. The spirit of Ghost Money is not of longing or introspection, but of forgiveness. The epigraph from Chekhov that opens the volume is perhaps the best indicator of Hull's sensibility: "All things are forgiven. . . . it would be strange not to forgive."

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