From the acclaimed poet-recipient of a Whiting Writers Award and an Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters-a refreshing, singular collection of poems about boys and boyhood, historical cycles and personal history, memory and meaning.
Bicentennial is, in the poet's words: "full of the things a boy growing up when and where I did-Vermont in the seventies-experienced: early VCRs, snow, erections, pizza, snowmobiles, high-school cliques, the Bicentennial celebration…but my book is also an elegy for my father, whom I never knew, and who died in 2009." In these poems Chiasson movingly revisits the kind of autobiographical poems he wrote as a young man, but with a new existential awareness that individuals are always vanishing in time, and throughout the collection he ponders time's conundrums; "All of history, even the Romans,/ they happen later, tonight sleep tight," he tells his sons at bedtime. "You'll learn this later. Tonight, goodnight." In the topsy-turvy world ofBicentennial, history has both happened and is waiting to happen; boys grow up to be men; men never forget what it is to be boys; and fatherhood is the best answer to fatherlessness.
About the Author
Dan Chiasson is the author of three previous collections of poetry, most recently Where's the Moon, There's the Moon, and a book of criticism, One Kind of Everything: Poem and Person in Contemporary America. His essays on poetry appear widely, and he serves as a poetry editor of The Paris Review. The recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowhip, an Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a Whiting Writers Award, Chiasson teaches at Wellesley College.