In Available Surfaces , T. R. Hummer explores the art of making both poetry and music, and of the concept of "making" itself. He draws on childhood experiences and experiences as an adult, as a poet, and as an explorer of unworldly spaces to examine that "something ineffable about the process of making of which the poem is the exemplary artifact."
Hummer grew up in the deep South, and spent many of his high school years playing saxophone in various rock and roll bands before he met poetry. This musical influence is visible in his work: he often discusses poetry together with music, or music with poetry, and his career has included both writing and performance.
Praise for T. R. Hummer:
"There is a vigor and spark in Hummer's language, in his raucous rhythms, that is equal to the street scenes they evoke. He savors the power of fact and authenticity, and his keen reportage summons familiarity, discomfort, and hope . . . Recommended for all poetry collections."
"These literary essays emerge out of a mind schooled not only in the liberal imagination called for by Lionel Trilling, but also inspired by an ethics of the suffering rather than a morality of the privileged . . . This is a book to place beside Walt Whitman and Frederick Douglass rather than John Crowe Ransom and Allen Tate, as it takes its stand not in a false bucolic past, but in the freed lands of American potential."
—Garrett Hongo, author of Coral Road (poems)
"Hummer's ability to create turns of phrase and images makes every piece in the collection interesting . . . . The whole is about as finely shaped as one might hope for when poets apply their craft to prose; it's entertaining and meaningful."
—John Griswold, Inside Higher Ed
Read: Review | Inside Higher Ed | December 8, 2012