The poems in the chapbook were written over several years, and served to help Hahn cope with the sudden death of her brothers in 2002 and 2003, and then the gradual loss of her parents due to Alzheimer’s Syndrome while in her constant care.
The chapbook is divided into two parts. The first half of the book, “Outside-in,” relates to “bringing nature in as a healing force to recreate a balanced inner landscape,” explains Hahn. “Poems in the second half, ‘Inside-Out,’ consider the sometimes frustrating and perplexing, sometimes humorous and spiritual sides of caring for parents who have become as children and cannot answer their own questions, or even formulate them.”
Hahn goes on to say, “For me, poetry served a strong outlet, both for the grief and for the intensity of savoring moments that come with encountering daily reminders of our mortality.”
Cynthia T. Hahn is a professor at Lake Forest College, where she has been teaching French language, literature, contemporary francophone cultures, creative writing, and literary translation since 1990. Her poems in English and French have been published in reviews, newspapers, books, and websites. Her publications also include translations of six novels by Lebanese authors Evelyne Accad and Ezza Agha Malak and Algerian author Noureddine Aba, translated poetry and short stories by Tunisian and east African writers, as well as articles on translation studies and francophone literatures.
More information about “Outside-In-Sideout” can be found at www.finishinglinepress.com.