William Heyen, CLSC Author, The Candle: Poems of Our 20th Century Holocausts

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Location Hall of Philosophy

Gate pass required. Purchase at our Main Gate Welcome Center; (716) 357-6250

William Heyen has been writing books of poetry trying to come to grips with the horrors of Nazi Germany ever since he published The Swastika Poems four decades ago. His latest collection, featuring 50 pages of new works, continues that necessary tradition.

The Candle: Poems of Our 20th Century Holocausts is a record, unlike any other in literature, of an American poet's staring into the central atrocities of our Twentieth Century, of his struggle against soul-sickness as he attempts, over almost 50 years, by way of despised and barbaric poetry (in Theodor Adorno's terms), to find ways to realize (make real), to understand, and to remember. While the collection heavily focuses on the atrocities of Nazi Germany, Heyen also explores the man-made terrors of the bombing of Hiroshima and the Gulf War — shedding light on the need to face our history, remember it, and come to grips with it.

William Heyen is a former Senior Fulbright Lecturer in American literature in Germany. He has been honored by the NEA, Guggenheim, the American Academy & Institute of Arts & Letters, in addition to being the recipient of other awards. The author of numerous collections of poetry, his work has appeared in hundreds of magazines and anthologies. His Crazy Horse in Stillness won the Small Press Book Award, Shoah Train was a finalist for the National Book Award, and A Poetics of Hiroshima was a selection of the Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle in 2010. He is Professor of English/Poet in Residence Emeritus at the College Brockport.