|The Cover Art is a photo of G. Buddy Swenson’s Elusive Liberty(August, 2001) Paint on Wood Panel (48”X”36”)Preston Hood was born in Fall River, Massachusetts and grew up in Swansea, Mass. He served in Vietnam with SEAL TEAM 2 (1970), and was a graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Boston, Bachelor of Arts in English, Magna cum laude, the University of Southern Maine, Bachelor of Science, and the University of Maine, Orono, Master of Education. For fifteen years, he was a member of Veteran’s for Peace. He published a poetry CD, Snake Medicine (2002), which was recorded by Berred Ouellette, and produced by Master Mind Audio. Summer Home Press published his first book of poetry, A Chill I Understand (2006). The Hallelujah of Listening is his first Chapbook (2011).
A CD of Preston H. Hood reading his poems will also be available for $7.00. It was recorded by Berred Ouellette and produced by Disc Makers. The cover art of the CD face is a photo of G. Buddy Swenson’s Elusive Liberty (August, 2001) Paint on Wood Panel (48”x 36”).
After attending The William Joiner Center for the Study of War and Social Consequences for 9 years, he edited with Jacqueline Loring and Gary Rafferty the Summer Home Review I (2002), and II (2005).
Through the Cape Cod Writer’s Center, he was interviewed with John McHugh, Secretary of the Henrich Böll Association, County Mayo, Ireland for Books of the World Television Program in Harwich MA (2006).
With Jacqueline Loring, he co-presented an overview of the Sixties Beat Poetry for The Wrinkle in Time: San Francisco Summer of Love (1967) Conference at Osher Life Long Learning Institute at University of Southern Maine. At the same workshop, he served on a panel discussion of both Civil Rights Issues and Why We Were in Vietnam (2009).
His poetry has been published in national and international journals and anthologies. He is a retired teacher and administrator currently writing his memoir. He spends his other time bicycling, kayaking, and hiking with his spouse Barbara J. Noone. He lives in Lyman, Maine.
The Hallelujah of Listening
From Dooniver we’re lured
by angels in the sun-dappled wind. They dance
with shadows, their radiant hair,
a seascape of waves & salt sundog air.
Some of us walk through Achill’s mist
anointed by the whispering surf. Or charge into a valley
of an image, rave about the lowered moon
behind Slievemore’s cloud-covered top.
Like first-light finches, I dart
into the thicket, feel the cool
morning silence. I climb with pilgrims
under a salmon-coral sky, voices chant invocations.
The red-bellied fuchsias lift & sway
on this steep path, bloodstones of penance. Even sheep
turn to listen. I wish I knew if Croagh Patrick could be mindful
of them, & us, rapt in our chorus of hallelujahs.
With this stunning collection, THE HALLELUJAH OF LISTENING, Preston Hood will take his place among the greatest of the poet-warriors and poet veterans of our times. Hood’s poems bear witness to how the human spirit survives that which would kill it. One speaker stitches up the opening in the sky “before the dead crawl out” (“Opening in the Sky”). Another, painting naked in the yard among the blue jays and bees, draws “a door in the sky to enter,” hoping to “find what’s lost” (“first born”). I’m awed by the poetic joining of courage and beauty in these fierce and precise poems.
—Cynthia Hogue, Professor, Maxine and Jonathan Marshall Chair in Modern and Contemporary Poetry at Arizona State University, Tempe; Or Consequence (2010).
I love Preston Hood’s new poems, and I cherish the spots of time he has been able to hold still in these poems just long enough to change your life. (From the Forward)
With Preston Hood’s The Hallelujah of Listening, I see a newfound confidence in the expression of his art. His beautiful images are often intimate and passionate, illusive and questioning, then shocking, real and haunting. As with other veteran poets, even when Preston’s poem is not about war, it forces you to think about warring, keeps you out of your comfort zone. In this new book, Preston asks us to “enter the mist, sit down in the fire of thought” to “let go of sorrow, let sorrow go” and promises, “the spirit lives to a renewal.” The journey is worth taking.
—Jacqueline M. Loring, Poet, Playwright, and Editor, Summer Home Review Anthologies, Volumes I and II
The poetry of Preston Hood’s The Hallelujah of Listening is indeed a “climb from the struggle into the marvelous” as he says in his poem, “Our Singing.” His new book reads almost like the scripture of Psalms such is its beauty and transcendence. Indeed, “a tongue of the sky” slipped into his mouth and our soul is awakened to the realms in which only poetry has a voice.
—Lamont B Steptoe, Publisher/founder of Whirlwind Press, Winner of the American Book Award (2005)