Synopses & Reviews
Suffused with lyrical grace and the language of loss, Sean Nevin's Oblivio Gate explores the mental and emotional struggles of Solomon, a veteran battling the onslaught of Alzheimer's disease. Set against Solomon's memories of the Korean War, Nevin's poems draw us into an intimate view of a man's confusion as everything he knows slowly unravels around him, leaving him abandoned in the suddenly unfamiliar landscape of his own mind. Readers experience first- hand Solomon's dismay as he watches himself inexorably slip away from reality, fighting to hold on to the shreds of his identity. Intertwined with his perspective are the voices of loved ones and caregivers who can only watch helplessly as Solomon is ravaged by the illness. Also central to the collection are the figures of Aurora and Tithonus, the famously doomed couple of mythology whose own happiness was destroyed by the inevitability of age and the betrayal of the body. But if this evocative portrait of Alzheimer's disease is tragic, it is also at moments inspiring.
Oblivio Gate reveals not only what is lost, but also what is found, what is pure, and even what is funny in our fleeting lives. Ultimately, Sean Nevin crafts an unforgettable collection of contemporary poetry that yields heartbreaking insight into memory, the mind, and an affliction that has left millions lost and looking for themselves.
"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, author of The Star-Spangled Banner
"There's something radiantly deep in the poems of Sean Nevin. Something luminous and haunting, familiar yet magnetically charged, potently mysterious¼ Nevin's poems lead us to the powerful contemplative edge of thinking and seeing that we need."Naomi Shihab Nye, author of Honeybee: Poems and Short Prose
About the Author
Sean Nevin teaches at Arizona State University, where he directs the Young Writers 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.