Ugly Duckling Presse


Diana Hamilton

Poetry | $12 $9
Fall 2015
"There is a sense / in which / you are interfering"

Universe is a long poem about exemplarity. Here, for example, hair-cutting, the wearing of hats, and soviet bacilli stand in for questions about consent, social conventions, and racism. Taking these substitutions largely from texts on moral philosophy, the poem rewrites them in and out of their original contexts. In this new, all-the-more exemplary world of pushing and shoving, someone has wronged someone. But who? The revenge is combinatory, and the lines are short.

Excerpt ˇ


* * *

If you stop me

from cutting

your hair,

there is a sense

in which

you are interfering.


But, since you are entitled

to determine

whether I cut your hair

or not, you do not

wrong me.


I make your trip to the store a waste.


I buy the last quart of milk

before you

get there.



Close ˆ

About the Author

Diana Hamilton
In addition to Universe (Ugly Duckling Presse), Diana Hamilton is the author of Okay, Okay (Truck Books), a book about crying at work. Other critical and/or literary writing has appeared in P-QUEUE, Two Serious Ladies, and The Believer, among other places. She is a Ph.D. candidate at Cornell University.

Advance Praise

Praise for previous work:

From the apology for feeling in the Radioheadesque title to the ungoogleable narrative that closes the book, Okay, Okay is resolutely not an invitation to share an inside joke or an appeal to intellectual vanity. The feelings may be borrowed, quoted, distorted and inverted; they may take time to come into focus; nevertheless, they are real and strange and there every time the book falls open.
—Jordan Davis
Her poetry—almost all of which is in rendered in prose, almost all of which is one-dimensional in the best possible sense of that word—forces Okay, Okay’s reader to examine and reexamine what is surely one of the most primal, instinctive of mammalian acts. —Jeff Alessandrelli