Radiation Diary: Return to the Sea

Radiation Diary

by Walter Bargen

Bargen takes readers along on his personal journey facing a cancer diagnosis and treatment. He writes of the mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical demands he endures. His poetry is honest and raw, but still poignantly beautiful, in spite of the subject matter.

"In Radiation Diary, Walter Bargen considers cancer: not just the revolt of the body against the body, but the many ways a difficult diagnosis undoes, then alters, then describes the victim. How, these poems ask, does one achieve balance or purpose as the body seems to proceed toward its own demise? What do balance and purpose mean under these pressures? And what of poetry and of the memories that create poems? I've been a major fan of Bargen's poetry for nearly three decades now. In this, his twenty-sixth book, he is in peak form, writing with fearlessness, humanity, and brilliance about the poet's own body, 'a navigation chart folded / too many times to find a way out.'" --Kevin Prufer

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About the Author

Walter Bargen

Walter Bargen was appointed Missouri’s first poet laureate in 2008. He received a BA in philosophy and an MA in English education from the University of Missouri, Columbia.
Bargen is the author of more than a dozen collections of poetry, including Days Like This Are Necessary: New and Selected Poems (2009). At the Poet Laureate Awards ceremony, poet Kevin Prufer described Bargen as a “brilliant communicator about poetry” whose own work is “subtle, skillful and wise.” Bargen has commented that creativity happens “where one’s imagination and memory collide with events.”

from The Poetry Foundation