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Poet Jaimee Hills Debuts Her First Collection of Poems

Waywiser Press
"How to Avoid Speaking" is Jaimee Hills' first published collection of poems.

One published collection into her career, Milwaukee poet Jaimee Hills is an award-winner.

Hills’s new book is called How to Avoid Speaking, and it’s the recipient of the 10th Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize.  The poems have a little something for everyone, in terms of style, tone, form, and subject matter. 

Hills first starting writing in high school and was attracted to the word play and shortness of poetry compared to other forms of writing. Despite going to college for pre-med, she always kept writing classes in her schedule and eventually changed her major to the subject - giving in to poetry's gravitational pull. 

"The assumption is that [poetry] is erudite and it's difficult, and it really doesn't have to be," explains Hills. There's all different types of poetry just as there's different types of novels."

Jaime Hills is also a lecturer in the English Department at Marquette University, and she explains that even though she teaches her students and grades their writing, she can never be completely satisfied with her own work until it is finalized.

"For me the poem is not done until it's published, and even then it might still be something I want to look at and work on.  So having everything in a book and being finished is a little strange," says Hills.