Photo Credit: selfie, taken 2022, Duncan Farm (Carrollton, Alabama)

Hank Lazer

b. 1950

Current City, State, Country

Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA

Birth City, State, Country

San Jose, California, USA


Hank Lazer has published thirty-four books of poetry, including P I E C E S (2022, BlazeVOX), When the Time Comes (2022, Dos Madres Press), field recordings   of mind   in morning (2021, BlazeVOX – with 15 music tracks with Holland Hopson. available on Bandcamp), Poems That Look Just Like Poems (2019, PURH, in English and in French), Slowly Becoming Awake (N32) (2019, Dos Madres Press), Brush Mind 2: Second Hand (2018, GreencupBooks),  Evidence of Being Here: Beginning in Havana (N27)  (2018, Negative Capability Press), Thinking in Jewish (N20) (2017, Lavender Ink), Poems Hidden in Plain View (2016, PURH, in English and in French), Brush Mind: At Hand (GreencupBooks, 2016), N24 (Little Red Leaves / Textile Series, 2014), N18 (complete) (Singing Horse Press, 2012), Portions (Lavender Ink, 2009), The New Spirit (Singing Horse, 2005), Elegies & Vacations (Salt, 2004), and Days (Lavender Ink, 2002).   Selected Poems and Essays of Hank Lazer, completed by a group of translators and with a Preface by Nie Zhenzao, was published by Central China Normal University Press in 2015.  Lazer’s Selected Poems have also been published in Italy (Pensando Cantando: Poesie Scelte di Hank Lazer, QuiEdit, 2015, translated by Anny Ballardini).  In 2011, in collaboration with visual artists from the Taller Experimental de Gráfica in Havana and the University of Alabama’s Book Arts program, Lazer published Indivisible, a fine press bilingual edition of handwritten shape poems.  Pages from the notebooks have been performed with soprano saxophonist Andrew Raffo Dewar, including performances at the University of Georgia (November 2013) and in Havana, Cuba (two concerts in January 2014), and with legendary Birmingham improvisational guitarist Davey Williams.  Video installations of the Brush Mind books have been shown in several galleries.  Lazer has collaborated and performed with multimedia artist Jane Cassidy, and musicians Holland Hopson, Andrew Raffo Dewar, Nathaniel Trost, Justin Greene, Trygve Seim, and the University of Alabama Chorus, seeking new ways and places to present poetry, from a local health food grocery to a hair salon (for an infamous Salon Salon), to more conventional concert venues.

In April 2015, Lazer was selected for the state of Alabama’s highest literary award, the Harper Lee Award, for a lifetime of achievement in literature.

Lazer is currently assembling a collection of essays, interviews, and conversations with the working title What Were You Thinking: Essays 2006-2021, which includes a long essay on “grace” which appears in Religion & Literature.  Lazer’s previous books of criticism include Opposing Poetries (two volumes, 1996) and Lyric & Spirit: Selected Essays 1996-2008 (2008).

Audio and video recordings of Lazer’s poetry and an interview for Art International Radio can be found at Lazer’s PennSound website: , as well as in special issues of Plume #34, Talisman #42, and spacecraft #11.  YouTube (Hank Lazer) makes available recordings and performances from 2019; Vimeo has videos of both Brush Mind works.

With co-editor Charles Bernstein, Lazer edits the Modern and Contemporary Poetics Series for the University of Alabama Press.  To date, the MCP Series has published over 50 books, including work by Marjorie Perloff, Harryette Mullen, Jerome Rothenberg, Rachel Blau DuPlessis, and Norman Fischer.

In January 2014, Lazer retired from the University of Alabama (where he continues to teach innovative seminars on Zen Buddhism and Radical Approaches to the Arts for New College and the Blount Scholars Program) after 37 years in a variety of positions, including Associate Provost for Academic Affairs, Executive Director of Creative Campus, and Professor of English.  Lazer also convenes a weekly Zen meditation group, Quiet Tide Sangha, in Tuscaloosa. Lazer can be reached at [email protected]  .

For more information about Lazer’s poetry, teaching, workshops, lectures, photography, and music collaborations, please see his website: Hank Lazer – Poet, Critic, Editor, and Educator

Published Works

Poetry (full-length collections)
P I E C E S (Buffalo, NY: BlazeVOX, 2022)
When the Time Comes (Loveland, Ohio: Dos Madres Press, 2022)
field recordings   of mind   in morning (Buffalo, NY: BlazeVOX, 2021)
COVID 19 SUTRAS (New Orleans: Lavender Ink, 2020)
Poems That Look Just Like Poems / Poèmes, poèmes, semble-t-il (PURH: Presses universitaires de Rouen et du Havre, 2019; two volumes)
Slowly Becoming Awake (N32) (Loveland, Ohio: Dos Madres Press, 2019)
Brush Mind 2: Second Hand (Chattanooga, Tennessee: Greencup Books, 2019)
Evidence of Being Here: Beginning in Havana (N27) (Mobile, Alabama: Negative Capability Press, 2018)
Thinking in Jewish (N20) (New Orleans: Lavender Ink, 2017)
Brush Mind: At Hand (Chattanooga, Tennessee: Greencup Books, 2016)
Poems Hidden in Plain View / Poèmes cachés en evidence (trans. by Emmanuel Moses) (PURH: Presses universitaires de Rouen et du Havre, 2016; two volumes)
Selected Poems and Essays of Hank Lazer, Wuhan (China: Central China Normal University Press, 2015; Chinese translations. Preface by Nie Zhenzao)
Thinking Singing: Selected Poems of Hank Lazer / Pensando Cantando: Poesie Scelte di Hank Lazer, trans. Anny Ballardini (Verona, Italy: QuiEdit, 2015)
N18 (Complete) (San Diego: Singing Horse Press, 2012)
Portions (New Orleans: Lavender Ink, 2009)
The New Spirit (San Diego: Singing Horse Press, 2005)
Elegies & Vacations (Cambridge, UK: Salt Publishing, 2004)
Days (New Orleans: Lavender Ink, 2002)
3 of 10: H’s Journal, Negation and Displayspace (Tucson: Chax Press, 1996)
Doublespace: Poems 1971–1989 (New York: Segue Books, 1992)

Poetry (chapbooks)
By Diamond Head (Honolulu: Tinfish Press, 2016)
N24 (Houston: Little Red Leaves / Textile Series, 2014)
Indivisible (English/Spanish. Tuscaloosa: UA Book Arts & Havana, Cuba: Taller Experimental de Gráfica, 2011)
First Portions (Tokyo: Ahadada Books, 2008)
One Dozen Portions (Reno: Country Valley Press, 2007)
Deathwatch for My Father (Tucson: Chax Press, 2003)
Simple Harmonic Motions (Portland: INK-A! Press, 2001)
As It Is (Boca Raton, Florida: Diaeresis Chapbooks, 1999)
Early Days of the Lang Dynasty (Buffalo: Meow Press, 1996)
Negation (Tuscaloosa: Ink-A! Press, 1994)
Inter(ir)ruptions (Mentor, Ohio: Generator Press, 1992)
Mouth to Mouth (Charlottesville: Alderman Press, 1976)

Essay Collections
Lyric & Spirit: Selected Essays, 1996-2008 (Richmond, CA: Omnidawn, 2008)
Opposing Poetries: Volume One—Issues and Institutions (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1996)
Opposing Poetries: Volume Two—Readings (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1996)

Author Site

Links to Sample Works

Video Reading

Current Title



Stanford University A. B
University of Virginia M.A.
University of Virginia Ph.D.

Subject Matter