This debut collection explores memory, cities, motion. Tung-Hui Hu's tone has some of the swampy wit that recalls Calvino or Michaux: A man swaps bodies with his lover; a mapmaker holds captive a city, which needs his crystal telescope to navigate through streets "unreadable as palm lines"; a car pushed off a cliff in a fit of anger becomes home for a school of fish. Anchored by the sequence "Elegies for self," Hu's poetry brings a quiet sophistication to syntax, diction, and form.
Tung-Hui Hu, a doctoral student in architecture at the University of California, Berkeley, also has an M.F.A. from the University of Michigan. The "Book of Motion," in addition to being chosen for the Contemporary Poetry Series, won an Avery Hopwood Award. Hu's current projects include translations of the German writer Paul Scheerbart.