One of our six Pushcart nominations, Ocean Vuong’s “Self-Portrait with Exit Wounds,” has won a Pushcart Prize and will be featured in the next Pushcart anthology. The poem first appeared in ASSARACUS ISSUE 08. Congratulations, Ocean!
On December 20, 2009, Bryan Borland’s father was killed when his vehicle left a one-lane bridge and plunged into a lake.
These are poems from the year that followed.
Less Fortunate Pirates
Poems from the First Year Without My Father
by Bryan Borland
Release Date: November 13, 2012
Retail Price $14.95; 88 Pages
PIRATES ARE HERE. Get a preview through CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN VOICES, where five Pirates poems are featured.
Ed Madden, Author of Prodigal: Variations: This is a difficult and beautiful book about a father’s death, a son’s grief. Like Sharon Olds’ The Father, the book is organized around that one central loss and the way that loss knocks a world out of orbit. And like Tennyson, Borland is a writer driven over and over to write and rewrite his grief in one short burst of song after another, each holiday a touchstone, each new task an occasion for memory. But this is grief in a new age, as the poem “Social Network Obituary,” with its heartbreaking status posts, reminds us. In the poem “The Fourth of July,” after a fireworks accident, a boy discovers that his father is not “made of something more than me.” That this revelation comes on Independence Day is surely no accident, for what seems to be a book driven by loss is also a book threaded with transformations. The poems that recognize the changed relationships with the writer’s mother and lover are among the most poignant.
Ian Young, Founder of Catalyst Press and Editor of The Male Muse: Bryan Borland’s Less Fortunate Pirates is one of the most moving and eloquent explorations of the devastations and epiphanies of filial loss since James Agee’s 1950′s classic A Death in the Family.
Alice Shapiro, Author of Saltian: Less Fortunate Pirates begins in truth, ends in truth, and through occasional dream imagery, mysteriously bridges our emotional reactions to death with reality. All of us experience death whether of the body or in transformative life situations. Less Fortunate Pirates, with its flawless transition from one state of consciousness to another, with its rhythmic undulations of phrasing, with its unique and satisfying metaphoric switches, builds a range of emotions that is moving, buoys us through the natural healing process and reveals the beauty in all phases of the human condition. Bryan Borland has given us a seamless read and pure celebration.