Charlie Hughes

Charlie G. Hughes is author of Body and Blood (2010) and Shifting for Myself (2002), volumes of poems. He is also the owner of Wind Publications, a small Charlie Hughes (somewhat literary) press with an emphasis on poetry, as well as Kentucky and regional writers. 

Hughes grew up on a Kentucky farm. There he acquired an appreciation both for the natural world and things mechanical. Like many who came of age in the era of Sputnik, he became interested in science, both physical and natural. Always a voracious reader, often to the detriment of his assigned studies, he consumed endless volumes of science fiction, as well as sports biographies. He played on both his high school basketball and baseball teams, enthusiastically, if not very skillfully. Though, as a youth, he longed to escape what he perceived as the drudgery of the farm, he often revisits that locale in both his fiction and poetry.

Hughes holds degrees from Transylvania University and the University of Kentucky.  Though employed as an analytical chemist (semi-retired), he has an abiding interest in the literary arts. He is the former editor of Wind  literary magazine. His poems and fiction have appeared in prominent literary magazines, including Kansas Quarterly, Kentucky Poetry Review, Hollins Critic, International Poetry Review, ART/LIFE, Cumberland Poetry Review, Exquisite Corpse, Appalachian Heritage, Cincinnati Poetry Review and others.
    

Comments on Hughes's book Body and Blood --
 
Charlie Hughes can write in a variety of forms, voices, and tones, as Body and Blood makes abundantly clear. You'll find the maddeningly difficult villanelle finessed, not just once but several times, prose poems, narratives, meditations, along with good ole boy wit. Hughes brings it all together like the story-teller and singer that he is.... a book so thoroughly and lovingly human in its vulnerability and its passions! 
               — Kathryn Stripling Byer

Where Charlie Hughes is from holds us rapt with attention and yearning ... [he] cocks eye and aim at the world’s absurdities while embracing all that’s right with the earth ... we take up these words in remembrance, the body’s blood still spry with hope and desire.
               — Linda Parsons Marion
  
  
Body and Blood may be purchased from your local bookstore, from on-line vendors such as Amazon.com, or B&N, or you may order directly from the publisher




Comments on Hughes's book Shifting for Myself -- 


"Hughes's poems—from his experimental villanelles to his free verse and narrative forms—serve as symbol for an approach to literature ... and life. Never brooding, rarely anxious, with an obvious twinkle in hi
s eye, he proclaims in these poems his open love affair with the language, his joy in just the right turn of phrase, the sounds of word rubbing on word, the unexpected insight or discovery.  His delight in the art of poetry—and life—is contagious here."
               — Steven R. Cope
   

"Hughes's setting are often rural and, in addition to the human cast of characters, include turtles, dogs, giant snakes, sheep and lambs, chickens and foxes. One of Hughes's greatest strengths as a poet, I think, is his ability to artfully and imaginatively enter the life and consciousness of the creatures of the world, large and small."
                 — Jeff Worley

Charlie Hughes Shifting for Myself may be purchased from your local bookstore, from on-line vendors such as Amazon.com, or B&N, or you may order directly from the publisher


From Shifting for Myself

   Driving at Seventeen

    The old Plymouth lives for the night.
    Purring, it straddles the center line
    to swallow the flashing white segments
    stretching beyond the headlights.
    Midnight and cruising home, cool air
    washing Jenny's perfume from my hair,
    when the fan belt shreds itself.
    Lights dim as the temperature
    gauge creeps upward. I press
    the accelerator until the speedometer
    needle tips over to seventy-five.
    Past Smith's quarry, the tires cry
    through the long curve. The cool night
    air caresses the engine,
    and the old straight-six hums its song
    as the green Plymouth glides down
    that sweet and endless ribbon of night.
    Nothing,
    not the summer, not the old Plymouth,
    not seventeen-year-old me,
    will ever die.