Chera Hammons


Chera Hammons is a winner of the 2017 PEN Southwest Book Award through PEN Texas and the 2020 Helen C. Smith Memorial Award through the Texas Institute of Letters. She holds an MFA from Goddard College and recently served as Writer-in-Residence at West Texas A&M University. Her work appears in Beloit Poetry Journal, Baltimore Review, Foundry, The Penn Review, Poetry, The Sun, The Texas Observer, Tupelo Quarterly, Valparaiso Poetry Review, and elsewhere. Her poetry chapbook Amaranthine Hour received the 2012 Jacar Press Chapbook Award. Poetry collections include Recycled Explosions, The Traveler's Guide to Bomb City, and Maps of Injury. Her debut novel, Monarchs of the Northeast Kingdom, is available through Torrey House Press. She is a member of the editorial board of poetry journal One. She often writes about chronic illness and invisible disability, horses, and the unique landscape of the Texas panhandle, where she resides.


Apart, we are two quiet things:

a person and an instrument.

I in my body,

the clarinet in its case.


We are like good friends.

The clarinet takes nothing away from me.

It lets me borrow its notes.


If I loan it my breath,

I can speak with its sweet voice.

Together, we will make a world

full of song.





Literary Movements:


Anthology Years:



Joy & Praise

Music & Sports

Literary Devices:


the fact of two things being seen or placed close together with contrasting effect


a comparison between two unrelated things through a shared characteristic


the attribution of human qualities to a non-human thing


a comparison between two unlike things using the words “like” or “as”