Congratulations to former HFR poetry editor and contributor Sean Nevin whose book Oblivio Gate is now available from Southern Illinois University Press. Winner of Crab Orchard Review's First Book Award, the collection explores the mental and emotional struggles of Solomon, a veteran battling the onslaught of Alzheimer's disease.

"Sean Nevin understands the paradox of using language to capture its unraveling. In heartbreaking poems that chronicle Alzheimer's, he probes the power of memory and the tragic beauty of its demise."—Denise Duhamel

A poem from the collection...

The Carpenter Bee

Black and polished
with light, it treads the air
beneath the arched soffits
of our house, where

this morning I smeared,
with a clean metal blade,
a dollop of putty
over the bullet-sized hole
it bore into the wood.

I watched, for an hour
that bee, tap-tap-tapping
like the severed tip
of a cane groping
after what was lost, and

like that, I saw again
the frostbitten toe
the medics let thaw,
then amputated as I slept
through a gauze

of morphine. The charred
and inconsolable knuckle
that would, for years, try,
each night in my dreams,
to come home from the war.

From Oblivio Gate
Copyright © 2008 by Sean Nevin
Southern Illinois University Press
Crab Orchard Series in Poetry

Sean Nevin
teaches at Arizona State University, where he directs the Young Writer’s Program and is assistant director of the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing. He is coeditor of 22 Across: A Review of Young Writers, and his poetry has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including JAMA, the Gettysburg Review and North American Review. He is the recipient of a Literature Fellowship in Poetry from the National Endowment for the Arts.