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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.
Donald Platt, who holds a doctorate in Creative Writing from the University of Utah, is the author of seven volumes of poetry. In addition to ONE ILLUMINATED LETTER OF BEING (Red Mountain Press, 2020), these books include Man Praying, Tornadoesque, Dirt Angels, My Father Says Grace, Cloud Atlas, and Fresh Peaches, Fireworks, & Guns. His poems have appeared in The New Republic, American Poetry Review, Poetry, Paris Review, Nation, Kenyon Review, Georgia Review, Southwest Review, Tin House, Ploughshares, Southern Review, Iowa Review, Yale Review, as well as many other national journals. He is a recipient of two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and three Pushcart Prizes. Three of his poems have been anthologized in The Best American Poetry series. He teaches in the MFA program at Purdue University and divides his time between Lafayette, Indiana and Great Barrington, Massachusetts.Author City: WEST LAFAYETTE, IN USA