How to Dream
The poems in Riel’s first chapbook largely focus on gay identity and experience. One poem (written decades before same-sex marriage became legal) depicts an imaginary gay wedding. In another, the poet investigates the experience of growing up queer in a small town. The storm clouds of the AIDS epidemic appear in such poems as “House Guest with AIDS” and “Walking Underwater.” In the latter, the widespread grief brought on by the disease is compared to the sorrow felt by displaced inhabitants of the four towns evacuated so that the Quabbin Reservoir could be constructed in central Massachusetts. In “Field Trip Home,” Riel describes how he came to embrace his Franco-American identity.
PUBLISHER: Amherst Writers & Artists Press
FORMAT: Paperback, 36 pages