tHE DISAPPEARING ACT
Winner of the Adrienne Bond Award for Poetry
Mercer University Press, 2018
MU Press Catalog Description: "In her first collection of poems, Sara Pirkle Hughes explores the role memory plays in shaping identity and a person’s perception of the past. The book’s title, The Disappearing Act, posits that time is a magician causing every moment in a person’s life to disappear, and every poem in the collection is the poet’s attempt to recapture what has vanished, while also acknowledging the inherent paradox of writing about the past. The fallible nature of memory makes it impossible to preserve an experience free of distortion.
Born and raised in Georgia, Hughes uses the Southern tradition of storytelling as a jumping off point to examine her own personal history as well as family stories. However, nearly every poem in this award-winning collection incorporates formal elements, often fusing narrative with restrictive structures such as sonnets, pantoums, and villanelles."
Doxorubicin, one of the chemo drugs I took for my cancer, is nicknamed "The Red Devil" because it is bright red and has horrific side effects. Obviously, we need a cure for cancer, but we also need less toxic drugs to treat cancer patients.
Link: The Red Devil
I wrote this poem (which is based on a true story) at I-Park in Connecticut, and here I am reading it at I-Park's Open Studios in June 2016. It was selected as Deep South Magazine's poem of the day on April 3, 2017.
Link: Why We Couldn't Stay
The controlling image for this poem was inspired by a "poem-in-a-bottle" project I conducted at I-Park in June 2016. I wrote the poem in one sitting and it was published in One Sentence Poems on September 2, 2016.
Link: A Simile for His Name
This poem is one of four published in Atticus Review in February of 2015. Other poems include "How We Learn," "The Makeout Party," and "Your Laughing, or My Trying to Make it Happen."