Heather McHugh is a certified Stranger Genius of Literature. Christopher Frizzelle calls her poems "dense, startling stories that could be published as paragraphs, as prose," with lines that are "packed and bright and good, and they like space." You can read a few of her best poems here, including a couple recordings of McHugh reading her own work. If I had to choose one as a typically McHughian poem, it would be "Etymological Dirge," a few short stanzas about words which begins:

Calm comes from burning.
Tall comes from fast.
Comely doesn't come from come.
Person comes from mask.

Really: It's short. You should read the whole poem. Tonight, McHugh reads at the Castalia Reading Series at the Hugo House. There will be a collection of UW creative writing students and alumni reading, but McHugh is the one who makes this the reading of the night.

To have a look at the other events going on tonight, including a barroom discussion of genetic modification, you should check out the reading calendar.