Hawk Parable

by Tyler Mills

Winner of the 2017 Akron Poetry Prize

Pages: 88

Size: 6 x 9



Hawk Parable begins with a family mystery and engages with the limits of historical knowledge—particularly of the atomic bombs the US dropped at the end of the Second World War and the repercussions of atomic tests the US conducted throughout the twentieth 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.

About the author

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 YorkerThe Guardian, and Poetry, and her essays have appeared in AGNICopper 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, NM.

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Additional information


Akron Series in Poetry


lyric poetry, contemporary poetry, New Mexico, Atomic bomb, World War II, Micronesia, Trinity Test, Docupoetry, Environmental poetry, Nagasaki, Hiroshima, Operation Crossroads

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