English Faculty Book Gallery
The State That Springfield is In
Inspired by America's most prominent hallmark of modern pop culture, The Simpsons, poet Tom C. Hunley shares his narratives––autobiographical or allegorical––by channeling the eccentric personas of residents in the animated sitcom's town, Springfield, and trusting their voices to speak on his behalf, resulting in true poetic entertainment. As author Denise Du Vernay states in the collection's introduction, "Tom's interaction with The Simpsons doesn't follow sitcom or even cartoon rules. He doesn't have to. Tom follows a mysterious set of rules, completely unknown to those of us without a poet's sensibilities." That is the sentiment that defines Hunley as an artist. He is a poet who has a firm grip on poetic formalism (the "rules"), but, as is the case with any true artist––perhaps a guitarist for the sake of a metaphoric example––Hunley knows when it's time to part from his Eddie Van Halen trickery in exchange for what resonates with those who are unfamiliar with the "rules," "theories, and "doctrines" of art: gritty power chords strummed in the manners of Kurt Cobain or Johnny Ramone.
Split Lip Press
Hunley, Tom, "The State That Springfield is In" (2016). English Faculty Book Gallery. 19.
Tom C. Hunley holds degrees from University of Washington, Eastern Washington University, and Florida State University. He is the author of four full-length poetry collections, most recently PLUNK (Wayne State College Press, 2004); six chapbooks, most recently Scotch Tape World (Accents Publishing, 2014); and two textbooks, most recently The Poetry Gymnasium: 94 Proven Exercises to Shape Your Best Verse (McFarland & Co., Inc., 2012). He is the co-editor, with Alexandria Peary, of Creative Writing Pedagogies for the Twenty-First Century (Southern Illinois University Press, 2015). He has also written for a variety of literary publications such as TriQuarterly, New York Quarterly, Five Points,The Writer, North American Review, New Orleans Review, Rattle, Crab Orchard Review, Verse Daily, The Writer’s Chronicle, Atlanta Review and Poetry Daily. His poems have been featured several times on Garrison Keillor’s NPR program, The Writer’s Almanac. In addition to writing his own poetry and prose, he is the book review editor forPoemeleon and the director/founder of Steel Toe Books. He and his wife, Ralaina, have been married since 1996, and they have three sons. In his spare time he enjoys playing guitar and bass guitar.