Tuesday at noon on KPFK I’ll replay a terrific 2015 interview with award-winning Orange County poet Grant Hier. Seems right, as an excerpt from his book-length Untended Garden: Histories and Reinhabitation in Suburia appears in a forthcoming first-ever literary anthology of the County, edited by Yours Truly and co-editor Lisa Alvarez, Orange County: A Literary Field Guide (Heyday). Hier’s long multi-tiered poem explores place, in this case his childhood (and current) home in Anaheim, California, engaging the metaphor of the garden while further exploring the role of humans from pre-conquest Southern California to the present — so often romanticized, forgotten, celebrated or taken for granted. The book introduces geography, topography, indigenous language and culture and, perhaps best of all, the strong, trustworthy poetic voice and voices of the young boy and now grown man who still lives in the suburban tract home built by his parents in a locale rich in so much history and beauty, so much worth digging for in memory, imagination and physicality. Grant Hier is a much-published poet with work recently in PEN’s The Rattling Wall special post-election collection Only Light Can Do That . Untended Garden received the Prize Americana (The Poetry Press, 2015). Hier teaches writing at Laguna College of Art and Design.
For a review (and appreciation) of Hier’s work, do check out my OC Weekly post from 2015: http://www.ocweekly.com/news/the-poet-runs-the-home-stretch-grant-hiers-tended-untended-garden-of-reconciliation-6462360
Thanks for listening. KPFK…now more than ever!