Tuesday, April 07, 2009
I just received my contributor's copy of Beyond Forgetting: Poems and Prose about Alzheimer's Disease, edited by Holly Hughes. I'm very happy to have two poems selected for this anthology: "Elegy for an Amputation" and "At the Easel with Alzheimer's." It's a fascinating and poignant collection on a topic that unfortunately affects many families. My father is the one in our family who has the disease. My dad, the former rocket scientist, can't remember how to work a CD player or telephone. I tell him stories about his exploits in the field of making missiles in the 19502 and 1960s and he listens eagerly, as if to a tale about someone else. But a new openness has come into our conversation, and although it's very hard to lose someone bit by bit, I am grateful for these moments with him.
From the Kent State University Press website, here's a description of the anthology:
Beyond Forgetting is a unique collection of poetry and short prose about Alzheimer’s disease written by 100 contemporary writers—doctors, nurses, social workers, hospice workers, daughters, sons, wives, and husbands—whose lives have been touched by the disease. Through the transformative power of poetry, their words enable the reader to move “beyond forgetting,” beyond the stereotypical portrayal of Alzheimer’s disease to honor and affirm the dignity of those afflicted. With a moving foreword by poet Tess Gallagher, this anthology forms a richly textured literary portrait encompassing the full range of the experience of caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease.