Strange Land

Crab Orchard Poetry Series

Selected by Natasha Trethewey

(Southern Illinois University Press, 2010)

     "...beautiful, uncompromising poems." — David Ferry

     "This is a first book of rare mastery." — Robert Pinsky

     “At once inventive and elegant, hungering and assured, immediate and literary, visceral and visionary, the poems of Strange Land range broadly across the idiomatic and the oracular with a lyric economy that is as deftly accomplished as it is exhilarating. Strange Land is an exceptional first book, ambitious and necessary.” ― Daniel Tobin

     “‘My mind was a voyage hungering to happen,’ writes Todd Hearon in Strange Land, a book that confronts the conundrum of human ambition, both public and private,  and its translating effects—the translation of ambition into hubris, of the ‘memory  of our innocence’ into ‘the hell we made of earth...[the] hell we made of each other.’  Hearon’s particular achievement is to have translated this heritage of human failings into something akin to grace, a debut at once hushed and stirring.”— Carl Phillips

Strange Land is heady fare, and hearty, too. Hearon is at once intellectual and passionate, a master of both the fish-eye lens and the zoom, equally at home in longer sequences  and in epigrams. His formal mind is always in the service of what I can only call a vatic spirit, and his poems are (as poems should be) both aesthetic islands and maps of the mainland where we live. They are psalms (and salaams) for our world. In the fleece of these poems (to paraphrase one of them) the beast to bear us onward comes.” — Geoffrey Brock

No Other Gods 

(Salmon Poetry, 2015)

      "The mastery displayed in Todd Hearon's No Other Gods—in the complexity and clarity of his rhetorical frames, the beauty and balance of his artifacts, the power and freedom of his imagination, the precision of his music, his anthropological stringency—is astonishing enough.  Astonishing beyond hope is the commitment to reality, the developed vision, that this mastery serves." — Vijay Seshadri

     “No Other Gods is the carefully orchestrated, richly fashioned, thoroughly enjoyable collection of a poet coming into the full exercise of his powers.” — Eamon Grennan

Crows in Eden 

(Salmon Poetry, forthcoming spring 2021)

     "Todd Hearon’s Crows in Eden is an unflinching look at America’s long history of white terrorism and racial expulsion, told by one who knows southern white culture from the inside.  Whether he is uncovering the buried sins of Eden, Tennessee, or documenting the banished black community of Malaga Island, Maine, Hearon seeks no less than to reveal, at last, 'a history never written down.'  By turns brutally honest and poignantly elegiac, these poems are a vital contribution to the real history of home." — Patrick Phillips

     "In Crows in Eden, Todd Hearon practices that rare brand of poetic ingenuity, one attuned to the modal phrasings of history and those voices carried over time by wind and imagination. Underpinned by a deep faith in language and form, the poems here, perceptive and lyrical, forgo amnesia in favor of a perpetual light, and what Hearon devastatingly uncovers is nothing less than our brutal past, and yes,  the paucity of our humanity. Yet, Crows in Eden has within its vision that city on the hill, some future America, sustained by moral and just measures of sound and fury." — Major Jackson


"un/bodying/s" (with music by Gregory W. Brown), The Common Poetry Feature, February 2018 

"Mnemosyne":  An Art Song Project (with music by Carrie Magin, The Cincinnati Review, August 8, 2017

Poetry Foundation

AGNI Online


"Driving to Malaga," The Common, Issue 10