The Infinity Room cover
The Infinity Room
In The Infinity Room the reader will find polished, precise poems that are built around the author’s experiences of touring Nevada’s atomic bomb test sites, the Chernobyl disaster site, and Oak Ridge, as well as living for decades near Three Mile Island. These iconic landmarks of the threat of nuclear technology become more than talking points as they provide grounding for narratives of faith and skepticism from multiple viewpoints that employ science, religion, history, myth, politics, and popular culture, including a piece about the author’s experience as a student at Kent State at the time of the National Guard shooting. The poems here are tightly controlled but electric, dark yet vibrant with love and longing, and packed with memorable characters and places that are presented through a singular, lyrical voice that connects us to what it means to be human.
Subjects: Poetry
Publication Date: February 1st, 2019
118 pages| 6 in x 9 in
Gary Fincke is Emeritus Charles Degenstein Professor of Creative Writing and Director of the Writers Institute at Susquehanna University. A two-time winner of a Pushcart Prize, he has also won seven book prizes, including the Flannery O'Connor Prize for Short Fiction, The Journal Charles B. Wheeler Poetry Prize, and the 2017 Robert C. Jones Prize for Short Prose.

Early Praise

“Truly, these poems stare deep into the well of the infinite. Gary Fincke writes of the alarms, the danger of Oak Ridge, Chernobyl, Kent State, and our own local ruins, wrecks, and nostalgia, the “rented rooms of personal history.” These beautifully wrought poems don’t make me afraid. They don’t make me bitter. They cheer me to know that such a voice exists, that such a life exists, that sees with honesty and wisdom. ‘What matters, for serenity, / Is believing in your words,’ he writes. I myself am a great believer in Fincke’s words.”
Fleda Brown, Professor Emerita, University of Delaware, and Faculty, Rainier Writing Workshop, Pacific Lutheran University
“In moving narratives with sharp and insightful observations, Gary Fincke locates our primal fears and hopes. He engages the real world unforgettably. These poems are well crafted but unpretentious and richly rewarding.”
Peter Makuck, author of Long Lens: New and Selected Poems
“Gary Fincke writes the clear-eyed poetry of fact and memory. The Infinity Room brings into its range the ongoing threat of nuclear catastrophe and cultural violence. In this far-reaching, ambitious collection, Fincke addresses, through the rigors of his disciplined, uncompromising art, those tragedies that must be remembered, and he warns of those that may not be averted. This is a poetry of endurance in which history is personal.”
Lee Upton, author of Bottle the Bottles the Bottles the Bottles and Visitations: Stories
Forever and ever, world without end, amen. Or maybe not. In his far-ranging new collection, Gary Fincke meditates on zones of disaster and near-disaster and not-so-simple everyday loss. Yet beyond the unbearable lies the bearable. These poems, in their wisdom and generosity, in their tender noticing, show us the way.”
Mary Ann Samyn, author of My Life in Heaven


Book AwardWheelbarrow Books Poetry Prize, Established poet
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