Told as a historical account in a documentary style, it explores the atmosphere of a death camp. It describes what it was like to watch the trains roll in, and it probes into the mind of its commandant, Hans-Peter Guth. How could he murder thousands of people each day and then go home to laugh with his children? This is not only an unflinching portrayal of the machinery of the gas chambers, it is also the story of how prisoners burned the camp to the ground and fled into the woods. It is a story of rebellion and survival. It is a story of life amid death.
In the opening piece, “57 Gatwick,” which won the Glimmer Train Emerging Writer Fiction award, a terrorist bombing of a commercial airliner over the city of Duluth, Minnesota, gives the town coroner a new task beyond the collection and identification of victims’ bodies, thus restoring hope to a shattered community.
In “Burn Unit,” a lone, misanthropic woman who rescues stray and abused animals, in turn rescues her horribly burned niece from a neglectful family and a life of despair.In the “The Lazarus Bomb,” the crew of a B-17 bomber crew flying missions over Germany in WWII is suddenly imbued with the ability to give life rather than rain death. With gentle humor and deft, lyrical prose, this collection demonstrates that, despite these tragedies, unlooked-for miracles do occur.
Adoptable – Thousands of childless couples in North America are increasingly turning to international adoption in order to become parents. While there are many wonderful things about trans-racial international adoption, it is—at its heart—a breaking away. To adopt a child from another country necessarily means taking them away from their culture, their language, and their ancestral background. As the child grows up, what affect does this have? What does it mean to look across a border and bring a young life towards you?
In this new collection, Patrick Hicks explores the thorny connections between home and away, blood and belonging, fatherhood and place, and he examines what it means to be a family. Full of humor, sensitivity, and startling honesty, these poems are about one man’s journey to understand his son.
This London – Two thousand years ago a tiny village was founded on the marshy banks of the River Thames. Since then, this outpost of a crumbling Roman Empire has become an international city, a magnetic intersection between cultures and histories. London was once the capital for millions of colonized people around the globe, including-for nearly 200 years-a land that would eventually become the United States. For good or bad, our tongues move with words and ideas that bubbled up from this mighty city.
In this new collection, Patrick Hicks explores connections between history and place, colonialism and language, visiting and belonging, and he points out the hidden streets and personalities of a city that changed the world.