An interdisciplinary journal about regions, places, and cultures of the US South and their global connections

The Morning with Many Tongues

Sean Hill, Stanford University

27 February 2009
Sean Hill, 2009.

Set in locations around his hometown of Milledgeville, Georgia, Sean Hill reads four poems from his debut collection, Blood Ties & Brown Liquor. Drawing upon oral history and close observation, Hill explores biography as well as racial history through several generations of a fictional African American family.

"The Morning with Many Tongues" is part of the Poets in Place series, a Research Collaboration in the Humanities initiative funded through Emory University’s Presidential Woodruff Fund, in collaboration with the Office of the Provost. Series producers are Natasha Trethewey and Allen Tullos.

Sean Hill reads the poem "Just as Sure." Poem text.
Sean Hill reads the poem "Nigger Street 1937." Poem text.
Sean Hill reads the poem "The State House Aflame 1833." Poem text.
Sean Hill reads the poem "In Memory Hill Cemetery." Poem text.
About Sean Hill:
Born and raised in Milledgeville, Georgia, Sean Hill has an M.F.A. from the University of Houston. He has received fellowships and grants from Cave Canem, the Bush Foundation, The MacDowell Colony, the University of Wisconsin, Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, the Jerome Foundation, and Stanford University where he was a Wallace Stegner Fellow in Poetry. Hill's poems have appeared in Callaloo, Ploughshares, Pleiades, Crab Orchard Review, DIAGRAM, The Oxford American, Tin House, and other literary journals, and in the anthologies Blues Poems, Gathering Ground, The Ringing Ear, and Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry. His first book, Blood Ties & Brown Liquor, was published by the University of Georgia Press in 2008. Hill is an editor at Broadsided Press.  He lives in Bemidji, Minnesota.  More information, as well as poems, can be found at his website:

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Interview with Natasha Trethewey:

In these excerpts from a December 17, 2008 conversation, Sean Hill talks about sources and influences of the poems in Blood Ties & Brown Liquor. This interview took place on the porch of Andalusia, the home of Flannery O'Connor near Milledgeville, Georgia.


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Recommended Resources:
Map of Milledgeville, Georgia.

Published Work in Print:
Hill, Sean. Blood Ties & Brown Liquor. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2008.

Links and Online Publications:
DIAGRAM 7.2: “Bemidji in Spring

From the Fishouse: an archive of emerging poets
Ten poems and two Q&A responses (May 2009)
Silas Wright at Age Seven 1914
Elegy for an Older Brother 1922
Uncle John
Nigger Street 1937
Insurance Man 1946
Milledgeville Haibun
Distance Between Desires
Sugaring Redux
Sam Kee, I imagine…
Sean Hill Q&A on the genesis of his poem “Uncle John”
Sean Hill Q&A on the formal strategy of “Distance Between Desires”

How a Poem Happens
by Brian Brodeur (Dec. 2009)

Lyric Poetry Review
Lyric Poetry Review Issue Six: “Harrowing”

The Missouri Review
Poem of the Week feature (Sept. 14, 2010): A Photograph Taken in Duluth

The Rumpus
One poem (April 2009): Postcard to Nostalgia

The Tusculum Review
Featured Artist Series (Jan. 2009) “Somniloquent,” “Visiting the Carriage House,” “Yet in Bemidji 


Collaborations Online:
Born Magazine: Art and Literature Collaboration
Born Magazine (2002) The Schizophrenic Tenant with Steve Keane

Broadsided: putting literature and art on the streets
Broadsided (Sept.1, 2006) Insurance Man 1946 with Jim Benning

Pendu Gallery: Art & Actions
Pendu Gallery (2007) Necks of Swans and Ducks as part of Cabinet of Natural Curiosities led by Jasmine Dreame Wagner with Jonathan Zalben, and Jasmine Landau

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