Brookline Poet’s Debut Book Seeks To Engage Alzheimer’s Community

BROOKLINE, MA — Brookline poet and Town Meeting Member Eric Hyett is celebrating the release of his debut book, Aporia, in which he seeks to engage the Alzheimer’s Community in meaningful conversation.

In Aporia, Hyett specifically struggles with the psychic predicament of how to guide his mother, poet Barbara Helfgott Hyett, through the ravages of early-phase Alzheimer’s Disease while preserving both her dignity and her literary legacy.

“The topic chooses you sometimes in poetry,” said Hyett. “This is the first time I’ve had an opportunity to pull an entire book together of my own work. Unfortunately, the one person who was most inspiring to me has to be the subject of a book about Alzheimer’s Disease.”

Organized chronologically to span exactly one year, the poems in Aporia recount a narrative between the speaker and his mother, both of them trying to understand what has happened. Over the course of the year, what started out as shock gives way to grief as both Hyett and his mother begin to move toward acceptance.

“The best we can do is move toward acceptance rather than actually getting there,” said Hyett. “I hope people will read this book and go write their own poetry book. That’s my secret goal here.”

Courtesy of Eric Hyett

Eric Hyett is both a poet and literary translator, and along with his co-translator, Spencer Thurlow, made the shortlists for the 2018 National Translation Award and the 2018 Lucien Stryk Asian Translation Prize for a translation of “Sonic Peace” by contemporary Japanese female poet Minashita Kiriu.

Hyett’s poems, essays and translations are also part of the ongoing dialogue in Granta, The Georgia Review, Lily Poetry Review, The Hudson Review, World Literature Today, and Modern Poetry in Translation.

To learn more about Hyett’s work, click here. Aporia is available to purchase from Brookline Booksmith here.






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