Don A. Hoyt

Biography

Don A. Hoyt grew up in New Orleans in a single parent home, residing mostly in public housing projects. He dropped out of high school to serve 4 years in the US Navy and later went on to earn a B.A. in English (1973) and two Master's degrees: Education (1977) and Public Adminisrtration (2004).

Hoyt's career in education (Wossman HS, Grambling State University, Louisiana Delta Community College, and Downsville Charter School Board) spanned 17 years. His career in Public Administration (local agency Assistant Director, city Planning and Development Director, County Administrator, and City Manager) spanned 24 years. While working at GSU, he managed a consulting business, Hired Hand Outsourcing, which served municipal clients across Louisiana to adopt Comprehensive Plans and development ordinances. Hoyt officially retired in 2013 from his position as the City Manager (Chief Administrative Officer) of the City of Anniston, Alabama, population 25,000; however, since 2016 he has taught one or two Composition classes at LDCC.

Over the years Hoyt has published numerous poems, short stories, and literary essays across the country. The following 40 academic presses have published Hoyt's works of fiction, poetry, and/or literary commentary.
Providence College, Providence, RI
Northern Illinois University, Chicago, IL
California State University Northridge, Northridge, IL
University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL
Roger Williams College, Bristol, RI
Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, KY
Angelo State University, San Angelo, TX
University of Mississippi (Ole Miss), University, MS
DeKalb College, Clarkston, GA
University of Iowa, Iowa City, IO
University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL
University of Houston, Houston, TX
Salem State College, Salem, MA
Lenoir-Rhyne College, Hickory, NC
Piedmont College, Demorest, GA
Northeast Louisiana University, Monroe, LA
Berea College, Richmond, KY
Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS
Idaho State University, Pocatello, ID
Nichols State University, Thibodaux, LA
Louisiana State University at Eunice, Eunice, LA
California State University at Long Beach
Wright State University, Dayton, OH
University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND
California State University, San Bernardino
University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
College of the Mainland, Texas City, TX
Stephen F. Austin University, Nacogdoches, TX
San Jose State University, San Jose, CA
Roanoke College, Salem, VA
Sierra Nevada College, Incline Village, NV
Pikeville College, Pikeville, KY
Cleveland State University, Cleveland, OH
University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh, Oshkosh, WI
University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI
Schoolcraft College, Livonia, MI
Grambling State University, Grambling, LA
Kent University, Canterbury, Kent, UK
Franklin College, Lugano, Switzerland

Smashwords Interview

1. How'd you get started with your poetry?
I knew nothing about poetry until I got to college in 1969. Except for the usual children's books that got forced on me in school, I didn't read anything much on my own until I was in 7th grade. One day I stumbled into the New Orleans public library and some rather assertive librarian issued me a library card and coerced me into borrowing a book. The book was Journey to the Nineth Planet by Robert A. Wolheim. After that one, I read a book about WWII pilots entitled Visibility Unlimited and then a third entitled Up Periscope about a WWII submarine.

From then on I read silly science fiction novels until I was in the Navy in the early sixties. Those long weeks at sea lent themselves to copious reading of almost anything, so I inevitably came into contact with some better (and worse) material. Although I had already read Asimov, Clark, and Bradbury, a couple of better schooled shipmates introduced me to some more sophisticated science fiction by them and by Heinlen, Vonnegut, John Hersey, George Orwell, and Aldus Huxley. Would you believe, I read 1984 as we steamed up and down the coast of Viet Nam launching air strikes against the "commies."

I thought I wanted to be a novelist when I entered college in 1969 but realized rather soon that poetry was my "thing" (as we used to say in those days). Literature classes are usually heavy on the poetry because it's easier to discuss shorter works in class. Thus, my literature survey courses saturated me with the usual canon of English and American poetry from Beowulf to Sylvia Plath (this was in 1970). An old professor I had for several classes, sensing my affinity for poetry, gave me a couple of interesting new (at that time) collections of contemporary work which introduced me to Ted Hughes, Sexton, Lowell, and others. Stephen Spender visited the campus about this time, and I was enthralled.

In 1974 I met two important influences: the short story writer Berry Morgan and my lifelong literary friend, Errol Miller. Morgan was an accomplished writer but a terrible teacher; she simply came to class and read her stroies to us. She was supposed to critique the submitted work of her students, so I turned in several of the poems I had been working on which she promptly returned saying they were beyond her ability to improve. While I was suspicious, I wanted very much to believe her and kept writing poems. There were many years after that of floundering in the dark, literary cellar; but she turned out to be right in the long run, I think. Errol had been writng poems for a couple of years and had had some publications success already. He taught me the basics of finding "markets" for my poems and submiting to them.

All this happened from 1969 to 1974. I have been immersed in poetry ever since.
2. What stimulates a poem?
I don't think I really know what stimulates a poem: other poems maybe?

Socrates in the Phaedrus praises prophesy, love, and "enthousiasmós" as forms of divine madness and as gifts from the gods. Inspiration was, to him, a glimpse of the Ideas, the eternal forms of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty. Everyone knows of Keats' equation of truth with beauty, an over simplification, of course, since the world is far to large to be encapsulated in even the most massive artifice. Spencer described making poetry "when with the force of a divine breath he [the poet] bringeth things forth far surpassing her [nature's] doings." In Shelley's famous "Defense" the mind is compared to a fading coal, fanned into heated creativity by a mysterious, inner wind, unpredictable by even the most accomplished poet. More recently, structuralists and deconstructionists have revealed the minuscule involvement of the artist in the production of meanings.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Don A. Hoyt online


Books

Zhougong: The Duke of Zhou
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 110,810. Language: English. Published: April 20, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Historical » Ancient
Approximately 1045 BCE the ruler of an independent province on the frontier of ancient China named Ji Fa defeated the reigning Emperor Di Xin's vast forces to found China's 3rd dynasty, the Zhou. The rise of the Zhou with their military, scientific, cultural, and economic superiority and their triumph over the Shang dynasty is the subject of this novel.
Commerce of the Undesirable
You set the price! Words: 8,730. Language: English. Published: February 3, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Poetry » Contemporary Poetry, Nonfiction » Politics and Current Affairs » Social policy
No less than in our continuing wars on poverty, poisonous substances, poly-ethnicisim, and faith, our “free enterprise” obsessed society too often experiences tragic collateral damage. Hoyt’s poems examine the damage, inflicting discomfort on the unwary reader. Hold on to your convictions if you can.
The Mausoleum on the Levee
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 6,620. Language: English. Published: January 26, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Poetry » Themes & motifs, Fiction » Poetry » Contemporary Poetry
Hoyt's first full volume of poetry (55 poems) exhibits a broad range of styles-- from sonnets to concrete lyrics. Somewhat romantic, somewhat modernist, somewhat language based, Hoyt's poems are largely unclassifiable; yet every one is ripe with insights into the human condition.
Tribal Magic
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 9,090. Language: American English. Published: January 2, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Poetry » Contemporary Poetry, Fiction » Poetry » Themes & motifs
Taking as his aim to make some sense of the life around him, Hoyt writes poems of both heart and mind, of observation and contemplation. For him, language is not the cause of poetry, but the tool of the poet.
Cousin Toby and the Preacher and Other Stories
You set the price! Words: 10,860. Language: English. Published: December 21, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Literary collections » American / General, Fiction » Humor & comedy » Satire
The Robertsons are not the only occupants of rural Ouachita Parish, Louisiana. In Don A. Hoyt's collection of eleven "flash fiction" stories, neighbors of the "Dynasty" clan exhibit many of the same fascinating and puzzling characteristics. Meet Billie Moran the horse trader, Mayor Roosevelt Huey Wallace, Dutch Bienvdenue the moss ginner, and especially Cousin Toby. Unforgettable!
A New Kerygma
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 4,070. Language: English. Published: December 4, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Poetry » Contemporary Poetry
The fifteen poems in Hoyt's small collection were published in 1993 by Bootleg Press of Uniondale, NY. They are an attempt to imagine something of his own "kerygma."
Rejecting the New Millennium
Price: Free! Words: 3,300. Language: English. Published: September 3, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Poetry » Contemporary Poetry, Nonfiction » Philosophy » Contemporary philosophy
Hoyt wrote most of the poems in "Rejecting the New Millennium" while he was an instructor at Grambling State University in Louisiana from 1994 to 1999. A limited edition of the collection was issued in 1999 by CC Marimbo Communications, PO Box 933, Berkley, CA 94701. 24 signed and numbered hard copies of this collection are still available from the author.

Don A. Hoyt's tag cloud

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