The Unfastening

In this, Wesley McNair’s ninth collection of poetry, readers will find not only the work of a mature poet, but a particular and personal vision of life. Combining sorrow, humor, and joy, the volume asks the difficult question: when faced with conflict and struggle, how do you fasten yourself back down again? Beginning with poems of grief and loss, the book moves to the losses of others: a Japanese war bride whose husband’s death leaves her with two young children far from home; a survivalist who talks to deer after his wife of 40 years has moved out on him; an old and failed painter who ropes himself to his windswept roof to view the beauty of coastal islands. The pursuit of beauty, the blessings of nature, the love of a mate, and connections we make with others in the course of everyday life, these are the reigning consolations in the midst of unfastening.

A distinctly New England strain of candor and restraint and a walloping matter-of-factness. – The Boston Globe

Maps an emotional adult journey from despair to acceptance – Bangor Daily News

Reviews for The Unfastening have appeared in the Boston Globe and Bangor Daily News.

Wesley McNair has won grants from the Fulbright and           Guggenheim foundations, two Rockefeller Fellowships, two NEA grants in creative writing, and an Emmy Award. He has twice been invited to read his poetry by the Library of Congress and served five times on the Pulitzer jury for the Pulitzer Prize in poetry. He was recently selected for a United States Artists Fellowship as one of America’s “finest living artists.” His most recent book of poems is The Unfastening (Godine, 2017).