Season of Dead Water

Helen Frost, Editor, John Haines, Foreword by Breitenbush Publications $9.94 (113p) ISBN 978-0-932576-83-5
In this impassioned response to the 1989 Exxon oil spill in Alaska's Prince William Sound, Frost has compiled 44 poems and essays (many previously published) that seek ``some small but enduring truth'' as they explore the magnitude of the disaster; its impact on the environment and the lives of local residents; the economic and political implications; and, finally, the collective guilt we share ``as members of a human community that has profoundly injured its surroundings.'' Frost, a writer who has lived in Alaska, has enlisted a wide range of contributors, including writers such as Wendell Berry and Nancy Willard; local leaders and residents (from a village chief to an eighth-grade Fairbanks student); and members of the clean-up and rescue efforts. Unfortunately, many of the poems rely on hyperbole and didacticism (Carolyn Kizer's Suppressing the Evidence is a case in point). Far more pk inspiring are the prose pieces, several of which use matter-of-fact images to chilling effect: ``There are oiled loons making their calls, oiled otters and babies . . . dead deer floating in the water.'' (July)
Reviewed on: 08/29/1990
Release date: 09/01/1990
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