“A book of love poems that consciously and subversively hearken back to Shakespeare’s sonnets, marking Hofmann’s position as one of our necessary poets of erotic desire.” —Jericho Brown, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Tradition
A Hundred Lovers is a catalog of encounters, sublime, steamy, and frank. Inspired by French autofiction, the poems feel both sharp and diaristic; their lyrical, intimate world brings us everyday scenes imbued with sex. "Eros enters, where shame had lived," the speaker observes, as the poems explore risk and appetite, promiscuity and violence, and, in the wake of his marriage, questions about monogamy and desire.
Bringing us both the carefully knotted silk ties of the wedding pair and their undress in a series of Hockney-like interiors where passion colors every object, Hofmann speaks plainly of the saliva, tears, and guts of the carnal, just as he does of the sublime in works of art. A Hundred Lovers invites us to consider our own memories of pleasure and pain, which fill the generous white space the poet leaves open to us between his ravishing lines.