Christine Hume is the author of Musca Domestica (Beacon Press), winner of the Barnard New Women Poets Prize, Alaskaphrenia (New Issues), winner of the Green Rose Award and Small Press Traffic’s 2005 Best Book of the Year Award, a chapbook and CD Lullaby: Speculations on the First Active Sense (Ugly Duckling Presse), and most recently of Shot (Counterpath). With her partner, Jeff Clark, and their daughter, Juna, she lives in Ypsilanti, Michigan, where she directs the interdisciplinary Creative Writing Program at Eastern Michigan University.


The child’s first power of self-recognition is her voice--her blurtish, tonally spastic, stuttering, expressive, arrhythmic arsenal of sounds--thus individuation happens first in the sonic field (not visual, Jacques Lacan be damned). Michel Chion takes up this idea in The Voice in Cinema:

In the beginning, in the uterine night, was the voice, that of the Mother. For the child after birth, the Mother is more an olfactory and vocal continuum than an image. One can imagine the voice of the Mother… originates from all points in space as her form enters and leaves the visual field, as a matrix of places to which we are tempted to give the name ‘umbilical net.’ A horrifying expression, since it evokes a cobweb—and in fact, this original vocal tie will remain ambivalent.


Jeff Clark, Claudia Rankine, Caroline Bergvall, Gregory Whitehead, Yoko Ono, Anne Carson, Julie Carr, Andrew Joron, Andrew Zawacki, Alphonso Lingis, Janet Cardiff.

Poems by Christine Hume

Hibernating Sir, Today is the Day

Lullaby: Speculations on the First Active Sense

Comprehension Questions


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