Of Richard Hugo's Making Certain It Goes On, David Wagoner has written: "Richard Hugo spared himself (and us) no pains or joys in making the wonderful, vigorous original poems brought together in this single collection. His was and is a very important voice in modern American poetry."
Hugo was also an editor of the Yale Younger Poets series and a distinguished teacher and master of the personal essay. Now many of his essays have been assembled and arranged by Ripley Hugo, the poet's widow and a writer and teacher, and Lois and James Welch, writers and close friends of the poet. Together the essays constitute a compelling autobiographical narrative that takes Hugo from his lonely childhood through the war years and his working and creative life to an interview just before his death in 1982. William Matthews, also a friend of Hugo's, has written an introduction.