April 19, 2007
Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, Mass.—John Hennessy, a poet “without an ounce of pretension—about either his working-class roots or the deftly turned poetry he makes of it,” according to Mary Jo Salter, will read from his new collection, Bridge and Tunnel (2007), at 8 p.m. on Thursday, April 26, at Amherst Books (8 Main Street, Amherst, Mass.). Sponsored by the Creative Writing Center at Amherst College, Hennessy’s reading is free and open to the public.

Salter, poet and Emily Dickinson Senior Lecturer in the Humanities at Mount Holyoke College, praises “Hennessy’s witty mythologizing gift.” Daniel Hall, poet-in-residence at Amherst College, writes of Bridge and Tunnel, a gritty rhapsody to Hennessy’s New Jersey childhood: “Whether he is … grappling with his mother’s bizarre cosmology, or explaining mortality to his young son, Hennessy’s music recalls the wild delirium of a Klezmer band. This startling new voice is really a houseful of voices, sage and seductive, heartbreaking and hilarious by turns.”

Hennessy grew up in New Jersey and received a B.A. degree from Princeton University. He has lived in New York, Amsterdam and Austin, and completed graduate degrees at the University of Texas and the University of Arkansas. His poems have appeared in The New Republic, The Yale Review, New Letters, Ontario Review, Fulcrum Annual, Harvard Review, Salt (UK), Notre Dame Review, Jacket (Australia), The Sewanee Review and Best New Poets 2005.

Hennessy teaches at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

The Amherst College Creative Writing Center sponsors a yearly reading series featuring both emerging and established authors. For more information, see the Creative Writing Center Website or call 413/542-8200.