Marilyn Hacker Winter Numbers
Award: Lenore Marshall/Nation Poetry Prize
Born in 1942, Hacker is an American poet.
For further information on her life and works, see CLC, Volumes 5, 9, 23, and 72.
The often painful exigencies of life and the inevitability of death are the subjects of Hacker's award-winning poetry collection, Winter Numbers (1994). Using traditional poetic forms and leavened with a sense of humor, Hacker writes about her daughter, homosexuality, her lovers, bigotry, the Holocaust, the AIDS crisis, and her breast cancer; this final subject is examined in the sequence of poems known as the "Cancer Winter" sonnets. Most critics have applauded the poetic maturity and thematic insight of Winter Numbers, noting in particular its structural craftsmanship, word images, and complex, multi-layered themes. As Grace Schulman observed, in Winter Numbers Hacker "is, paradoxically, less articulate than before. There are silences …, pauses, sudden turnings, juxtapositions that are more internalized, less explicit. She has deepened."