The Difference Between

Grant Hier

The Difference Between is a collection of 66 poems that invite comparisons between seemingly disparate words, ideas, or things. Sparked by the poem “The Importance of the Whale in the Field of Iris” by Pattiann Rogers, this series similarly pairs and juxtaposes to create surprising parallels and previously unimagined relationships. While most these poems start with the anaphora, “The Difference Between,” by the end of the book it’s clear that this is as much a confirmation of our interconnectedness, an exploration of what Whitman calls the “vast similitude” that spans, holds, and encloses everything.

“The book is full of intelligent humor and word play. Hier pulls from mathematics, physics, music, the natural world in all of its manifestations, and from the mysteries of the human heart to create a poetry of wonder.” Donna Hilbert, author of Gravity: New & Selected Poems

“Grant Hier’s writing is about surrender. Surrender to the word, allowing it to live, to lead, to guide. Mr. Hier masterfully documents that journey.” Louie Pérez, author of Good Morning Aztlán — The Words, Pictures and Songs of Louie Pérez

“Grant Hier’s work is artistry, introspection, and music.” John Brantingham, Poet Laureate of Sequoia and Kings Canyon Parks

Grant Hier is the Poet Laureate of Anaheim, California. He was the 2014 recipient of Prize Americana for his book Untended Garden, which was published by The Poetry Press in 2015, and nominated for both an American Book Award and the Kate Tufts Discovery Award.  He was awarded the Nancy Dew Taylor Prize for Literary Excellence in Poetry in 2014 for his poem “The Difference Between Rattle and Settling,” and the Kick Prize for poetry in 2013 for his poem, “Between Ellipses.” His poetry has been anthologized in Orange County: A Literary Field Guide (Heyday, 2017), Only Light Can Do That (Rattling Wall/PEN Center USA, 2016), Monster Verse--Human and Inhuman Poems (Knopf/Everyman, 2015). Individual poems, fiction, reviews, and essays have been widely published.

He has served as editor, managing editor, and editor-in-chief of several literary journals and magazines. In addition to writing, he is a musical artist, visual artist, graphic designer, and former art director. He recorded his original musical compositions for A&M Records in Los Angeles, and his installation art has been featured in several gallery showings. As a voice actor, he contributed the part of Stanley Hohner for the Audio Book version of the New York Times Bestseller, “Lincoln in the Bardo: A Novel” (Penguin / Random House, 2017) by George Saunders.

Grant Hier earned his BA in English at California State University at Fullerton, and both an MA in Literature and MFA in Creative Writing Poetry at California State University at Long Beach. For more than a decade he served as Chair of Liberal Arts and Art History and Faculty Senate President at Laguna College of Art + Design where he remains as Full Professor, teaching courses in literature and creative writing.

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