Kevin Hart

Poet, Non-Fiction Writer

hartKevin Hart was born in the UK in 1954, and grew up in London and Brisbane. He was educated at the Australian National University and the University of Melbourne. An award winning poet, he is the Edwin B. Kyle Professor of Christian Studies in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Virginia. He has written extensively on critical theory, modern poetry and eighteenth century literature. He is at present working on a memoir.

Kevin Hart's latest book of poetry. Barefoot, was published in 2018 by Notre Dame Press.

Barefoot cover
"Hart's poetry has always been marked by a tenderness and sensuality and an openness to existence, and it remains so here, but that openness now extends to the negative aspects of existence, which make the book both exhilarating and and harrowing. I think that Barefoot is one of Kevin Hart's finest achievements."

~JOHN KOETHE, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

poetry and revelation cover

Kevin Hart's latest book of Non-Fiction, Poetry and Revelation was published by Bloomsbury Publishing in 2017.

"Hart's writing style benefits from his poet's ear, and Poetry and Revelation contains passages of great lyrical beauty as well as intellectual weight...Such passages demonstrate a harmonious marriage of academic virtuosity and beautiful writing, which gives the lie to and ill-judged claim that the relationship between poetry, philosophy and religion is a zero-sum game."

~ LOS ANGELES REVIEW OF BOOKS

 

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Kevin’s book of poetry, Morning Knowledge, was published in 2011 in the USA by University of Notre Dame Press. Young Rain was published in Australia by Giramondo in 2008 and by Bloodaxe Books in the UK in 2009. Flame Tree: Selected Poems was published in Britain and the USA by Bloodaxe Books (2002) and in Australia by Paperbark Press (2001).

"With Young Rain Kevin Hart continues his “transmemberment of song” into a realm all his own in Australian poetry."

~ HAROLD BLOOM

The Dark Gaze: Maurice Blanchot and the Sacred (2004) was published by The University of Chicago Press. This book is not a mere introduction to Blanchot but rather a profound reconsideration of how his work figures theologically in some of the major currents of twentieth-century thought. Hart reveals Blanchot to be a thinker devoted to the possibilities of a spiritual life; an atheist who knew both the Old and New Testaments, especially the Hebrew Bible; and a philosopher keenly interested in the relation between art and religion, the nature of mystical experience, the link between writing and the sacred, and the possibilities of leading an ethical life in the absence of God.

Derrida and Religion Other Testaments (2004) co-edited by Hart and Yvonne Sherwood, was published by Routledge and is the most extensive exploration and test of Derrida's contribution and influence on the study of theology, biblical studies and the philosophy of religion. In addition to original contributions from over twenty highly-regarded scholars including John Caputo, Daniel Boyarin, Edith Wyschogrod, Tim Beal, and Gil Anidjar, the volume opens with a lengthy interview with Derrida.

Postmodernism: A Beginner’s Guide (2003) was published by Oneworld Publications. Clearly and succinctly, Kevin Hart explores the themes, theories and key terms of postmodernism, such as post-structuralism, post-humanism, post-metaphysical, along with his discussions of all the major figures, among them Foucault, Baudrillard, Lyotard and Derrida. Unique to Hart’s book is his consideration of the place of religion in a time where all meaning is relative – specifically whether or not religion still has a place at all. He also assesses the idea of a “postmodern Bible” and distinguishes between postmodern religion and religion in postmodernity, finally asking, whether postmodernity is a secular affair, or if it offers new opportunities for the spiritual life.

Postmodernism100150Praise received for the book includes:

’Invaluable: deserves the attention of all serious students of postmodernity.‘

~ David Tracy, University of Chicago
’Kevin Hart has produced a guide to postmodernism by which everyone, beginner or advanced, can be instructed. No one will fail to learn from this primer that is charming, personal, chatty and informative and manages to be both erudite and readable. An unqualified success.‘
~ John D. Caputo, Villanova University

HartPoemsSix other collections of his poetry have been published: The Departure (1978), The Lines of the Hand (1981),  Your Shadow (1984, won both 1985 Victorian and New South Wales Premier’s Literary Awards for poetry); Peniel (1991, shortlisted New South Wales Premier’s Literary Awards and the Adelaide Festival Awards 1991),  New and Selected Poems (1995) and Wicked Heat (1999). Kevin translated The Buried Harbour: selected poems of Guiseppe Ungaretti (1990) and edited The Oxford Book of Australian Religious Verse (1994).

Kevin Hart has been awarded the Christopher Brennan Award by the Fellowship of Australian Writers. This Award recognises a poet who has made a sustained contribution to Australian poetry.

Hart’s works of criticism include The Trespass of the Sign: Deconstruction, Theology and Philosophy (1989) and A.D. Hope (1992).