Love Song to the Demon-Possessed Pigs of Gadara by William Fargason is the poet’s debut collection of poetry. Fargason is the winner of the 2019 Iowa Poetry Prize. His poetry has appeared in The Threepenny Review, Prairie Schooner, New England Review, Barrow Street, Indiana Review, Rattle, The Cincinnati Review, Narrative, and elsewhere. He received two awards from the Academy of American Poets, a scholarship to Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and a 2018-2019 Kingsbury Fellowship.
The poetry follows the life of the poet. The opening poems set the tone for the entire collection. The father is demanding in The Great Santini way; he pushes in that 1950s, be a man way. Boys are not supposed to say indoors and play on Gameboys or wear eye shadow and be Goths. The father’s life is touched upon and perhaps the incident that shaped his view of his child. The father’s presence forms a shadow on the child’s life. The poetry is well written as always with the Iowa Poetry Prize, but this collection has me falling through the cracks as an older reader. It is a theme for younger readers or at least those that do not fall into the Baby Boomer category. There is a definite gulf between generations, and it shines in this collection. Well worth examining.