H.L. Hix’s newest poetry book, Chromatic, bears as its epigraph the philosopher Baruch de Spinoza’s assertion that “desire is the very nature or essence of every single individual.” The three sequences of poems in Chromatic test that claim. Each has a borrowed title: “Remarks on Color” from Ludwig Wittgenstein, “Eighteen Maniacs” from Duke Ellington, and “The Well-Tempered Clavier” from J.S. Bach. Exploiting those predecessors, the poems in Chromatic explore the full range of effects caused by human desire, from ecstasy to suffering.
Chromatic was a National Book Award fi nalist for poetry in 2006.