Writing Letters for the Blind

Gary Fincke

“This book is deep and wide, making use of history, science, medicine, and folklore, yet it is accessible from the beginning to end, poems of significance that will have an audience.” —David Citino

These poems begin in the coming-of-age moments that change us by forcing recognition of physical weakness, the power of sex, the importance of family, the presence of evil, and the prevalence of mortality. The book opens with narratives taken primarily from childhood and then, divided by long poem sequences, moves to adulthood and confrontation with the identity we acquire through close relationships and the pressures of our appetites, finally ending with what reads as a universal prayer of redemption.

Writing Letters for the Blind presents the reader with visions of this world and all its beauty and sordidness, joy and disappointment. This poet reports the breaking news just in from the heart and soul, and the body as well. “My father has taught me the beatitudes of sight,” Fincke tells us, always aware of what we owe to those who brought us here. He stays up through the starry darkness in the insomnia of one who feels it his duty to pay passionate attention, a poet engaged in “the basic defense of simple things.”

Gary Fincke is professor of English and director of the Writers’ Institute at Susquehanna University.

Jul 2003
83 pp. 6 x 9

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The Ohio State University Press/The Journal Award in Poetry

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