South × South — 2013

Poems from Antarctica

By Charles Hood

“When so much of the imagination has been domesticated, it’s refreshing to be reminded that even when all the frontiers are gone there will still be places that remain strange, difficult, and mostly empty. And when we get there, we’ll still be our uneasily astonished, loveable, ridiculous selves.”

Jordan Davis — poetry editor for The Nation and 2012 Hollis Summers Poetry Prize judge

“Only in recent years has poetry of Antarctica moved definitively beyond the heroics to deal with how the continent radically reorders perceptions of self and world. Werner Herzog’s film Encounters at the End of the World was a step in that direction, and now Charles Hood has pushed forward even further with a voice that connects us all irrevocably with the most otherworldly part of our own planet.”

William L. Fox — Director, Center for Art + Environment, Nevada Museum of Art

A vivid and insightful look at the culture and terrain of Antarctica, as well as the people who choose to live and work there, South × South celebrates and explores life at the extreme edge of our planet. Blending travel narrative, historical research, and the surprises of magical realism, Hood presents life in Antarctica and the history of polar aviation as both a miracle of achievement yet also as a way to understand humanity’s longing to be creatures of the heavens as well as the earth. South × South is poetry at its most inventive and surprising, insisting that the world is stranger and more glorious than we ever might have guessed.


Picture of Charles Hood

Charles Hood’s journeys have taken him from the high Arctic to Patagonia, Easter Island, and the South Pole. He has been a dishwasher, a ski instructor, and a nature guide in Africa.

His previous books include Bombing Ploesti and Río de Dios from Red Hen Press, as well as Xopilote Cantos and The Half-Life of Salt: Voices from the Enola Gay. He has been the recipient of a Fulbright fellowship, an Artist in Residency with the Center for Land Use Interpretation, and an Artists and Writers grant from the National Science Foundation. Charles Hood teaches photography and writing at Antelope Valley College, California.