Poetry. ONE ILLUMINATED LETTER OF BEING is a sequence of poems—by turns lyric, narrative, and dramatic—that limn what it means for a son to watch and be fully present as his mother prepares to die. These poems are about living in the midst of death and about dying, "while everything is coming into bloom." The poet records the natural world flowering and fruiting, and its autumnal fading into winter around him. The book bears witness to grief and how this son remembers with exquisite clarity—and comes to terms with—his mother's passing and its aftermath. Anger, great sadness, but also revelation and transformation are the emotional terrain that the poet walks unwaveringly. Wherever he goes, dying illuminates what it means to live.
Robert Dunsdon @ Lit PubInterview @ Heavy Feather ReviewInterview @ MediumCharles Rammelkamp @ The LakeAmy Strauss Friedman @ The Literary ReviewMichael Quinn @ Green Mountains ReviewKristina Marie Darling @ Tupelo Quarterly
Donald Platt has published seven books of poetry, including ONE ILLUMINATED LETTER OF BEING (Red Mountain Press, 2020), Man Praying (Free Verse Editions / Parlor Press, 2017), and Tornadoesque (CavanKerry Press, 2016). Platt's poems have appeared in The New Republic, Nation, Poetry, Yale Review, American Poetry Review, Kenyon Review, Georgia Review, Ploughshares, Southwest Review, Tin House, Iowa Review, Southern Review, and Paris Review as well as in The Best American Poetry 2000, 2006, and 2015. He is a recipient of two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts (1996 and 2011) and three Pushcart Prizes and he teaches in Purdue University's MFA Program. His eighth collection SWANSDOWN, was the winner of the 2022 Off the Grid Poetry Prize.