Jeff Hardin



At the heart of Jeff Hardin's inventive seventh collection "Watermark", a devotional, philosophical faith seeks "to know what can't be known," to step into, as if a sanctuary, "some deeper / deep / than what our words / can touch." In each poem, his meditations stitch back through a visible, vertical phrase-a whispered prayer, a "watermark"-that serves not only to anchor thought but also to align and to re-align the purpose of thought within "this bent and broken world." Born from Frost, Dickinson, Rilke, Whitman, and others, these phrases bind us and bless us at a time "when it seems the words / to enter others' lives / are disappearing." In an age in which it is increasingly difficult to "sort out what is true," Hardin's poems invite us to wake to the mystery all around us, to time's revelatory unfolding, and to how our minds might find healing, if not communion, if only we listened intently enough to hear "the intercessions / made on our behalf."


Jeff Hardin is the author of six previous collections of poetry, most recently "A Clearing Space in the Middle of Being", "No Other Kind of World", and "Small Revolution". His work has been honored with the Nicholas Roerich Prize, the Donald Justice Poetry Prize, and the X. J. Kennedy Prize. Originally from Savannah, Tennessee, he has taught for almost three decades at Columbia State Community College in Columbia, Tennessee.