Title Thumbnail

Hawk Parable


Tyler Mills

88 pages
University of Akron Press

“…Mills proves that Faulkner underestimated a poet’s ability to manage enormous shifts of scale…Haunted by the unverified possibility of her fighter-pilot grandfather’s ‘involvement in the Nagasaki mission,’ Mills scans skies for contrails, scrutinizes negatives, reads survivors’ accounts, and sifts through white sands…Mills has written a book for the long nuclear century.” – Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

Hawk Parable begins with a family mystery and engages with the limits of historical knowledge—particularly of the atomic bombs the U.S. dropped at the end of the Second World War and the repercussions of atomic tests the U.S. conducted throughout the 20th century. These poems explore a space between environmental crisis and a crisis of conscience.

As a lyric collection, Hawk Parable begins as a meditation on the author's grandfather's possible involvement in the Nagasaki mission and moves through poems that engage with the legacy of nuclear testing on our global environment. At times, Hawk Parable borrows language from declassified nuclear test films, survivor accounts of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, scientific studies of bird migrations through the Nevada Test Site, and the author's grandfather's letters.

This book enacts what it means to encounter fragments—of historical records, family stories, and survivor accounts—through exploring a variety of forms. Hawk Parable seeks what it means to be human in the spaces between tragedy and beauty, loss and life, in the relationships between the lyric speaker, history, and personal memory.
Author Bio
Tyler Mills is the author of two books of poems, Hawk Parable (winner of the 2017 Akron Poetry Prize) and Tongue Lyre (winner of the 2011 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award). Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Guardian, and Poetry, and her essays have appeared in AGNI, Copper Nickel, and The Rumpus. The recipient of residencies from Yaddo, Ragdale, and the Vermont Studio Center, and scholarships/fellowships from Bread Loaf and Sewanee, the Chicago native is an assistant professor at New Mexico Highlands University, editor-in-chief of The Account, and a resident of Santa Fe, New Mexico.