|About the Book|
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 poets 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 times conundrums- All of history, even the Romans,/ they happen later, tonight sleep tight, he tells his sons at bedtime. Youll 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.