"James Hoch's A Parade of Hands is the work of a very gifted young poet for whom the lyric is both discovery and song. I'm drawn to his grave tones and graceful formal aptitude, in poems alternately hard as "steel piled in a yard" and mysterious as "a handful / of winged insects throbbing against glass." There is real peril here, not just the faux of melodrama one finds in much new poetry; and real experience — of travel, of work, of loves found and lives lost. Each line of these excellent poems is real, worked-over, lucid, revealing, melodic, and true."
- David Baker
"Troubled young men and boys scarred by their gritty surroundings animate this careful sophomore effort from Hoch (A Parade of Hands), much of it focused on the city and the blue-collar suburbs of Philadelphia, where the poet grew up. The well-handled 22-part central poem, "Bobby Almand," takes its name and subject from a gruesome murder case: the titular boy becomes both hoodlum and victim, a sacrificial representative for the tough teens who run through the rest of the book-"Like wild dogs, we were raised/ in packs, by packs..." Head over to the review section for the full review.