Ya'aburnee—Arabic for “you bury me”—is an expression of love that declares a person would sooner die than outlive the one they love. Dan Mallette’s Letters to Harrison is one such declaration, filling the void where carefully crafted words and phrases fail, proving that language can bury as much as loss itself. The book, centered around Mallette's oldest son, Harrison, who was born with craniosynostosis and had skull surgery at 7 weeks old, serves as a raw account that bravely highlights not only the myth of resiliency but also the ways in which fathers experience fear and anxiety in times of crisis. This stunning collection of poems deviates from the Western inclination to compartmentalize loss, embracing love and pain as two sides of the same coin. With cutting clarity and tenderness, Letters to Harrison crafts a family portrait out of struggle, illness, and a fraught medical system.
DAN MALLETTE lives and teaches high school in San Antonio, Texas with his wife, two sons, and two dogs. Currently, he is writing just enough and playing outside in the backyard with his sons in the afternoons. His poems have appeared in Lucky Jefferson and HASH Journal. He was a finalist for the Adrift Chapbook Contest.