Before the Blue Hour


Before the Blue Hour



Deirdre O’Connor’s first collection of poetry, Before the Blue Hour is the Cleveland State University Poetry Center Prize winner for 2001. She has been the recipient of an individual artist’s grant from the Pennsylvania Arts Council, and has won an Academy of American Poets Prize. She works at the Writing Center at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, where she also teaches in the Bucknell Seminar for Younger Poets.

“The poems in Before the Blue Hour beautifully document encounters between visible and invisible worlds, between presence and absence, between the self and its fictions. In language that shatters just as it consoles, Deidre O’Connor offers ‘Hope for words as stars / disappearing, daybreak waking each world.’ Every poem in this book is a star, illuminating our secrets and our griefs, charting its way into the unspoken future.” –Nicole Cooley

“Reading the first poem I heard a voice and the voice was a chord of human music: so many notes at once: thought, feeling, wit, and the alleviating joy of speech itself: a syntax that created the melody it needed. And the voice spoke from deep necessity—to the inner life and the outer world at the same time as a way of living through life. These poems aren’t records; they are experiences. I read the book from beginning to end and then started at the beginning again.” –Marie Howe

More Information:

Poetry Foundation

Pebble Lake Review



Publication Date



Cleveland State University Poetry Center





Before the Blue Hour