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Fingerprints, Poems by Mark Chartier
Fingerprints is a collection of narrative poetry that places a magnifying glass over serious human experiences such as overcoming disabilities, abuse, and mental illness. Each poem is an examination of an affliction-physical, psychological, or spiritual -and the relationships and perseverance necessary in overcoming it.
"Mark Chartier's poems, in the tradition of James Wright and Bob Hicok, tell stories of irreparable damage, but still praise the world as it is. They bear witness to difficult truths about illness, both the speaker's--due to a traumatic brain injury in his youth--and the students who surround him, many suffering from the same wounds of the body and the spirit. There are a few unforgettable poems here, namely "Comfortable," and "A Person in a Position of Trust," which deal with recognition as essential to the path of recovery. Like a scar, "Recovery is its own fingerprint," he writes, which strikes so true. Every injury is unique, but so is its healing, and so is each poem that, like a blotter, captures it in ink." --David Keplinger
"Mark Chartier's poems show honesty and connection. His collection brings together the teacher with buoys students in a world forcing them to grow up too fast, heartbreaking confessions about the relationships that fail and save us, and the vulnerability that invites us to carefully look at mental health and disabilities. In these poems, we find letters to patience, persistence, and forgiveness that speak for the voiceless, those struggling with PTSD, the abandoned, and those dreaming of good times. Like tweezers removing a splinter from a squirming child's hand, we are reminded 'Nothing beautiful is ever easy.'" -Juan J. Morales
"This wonderful collection of poetry is filled with a compassionate power that very gracefully forces us to question and reevaluate our previously held notions of humanity and empathy as it leads us on a journey whose final destination is the rediscovery of hope. Page after page, we bear witness to the entire range of human emotion and feeling, and without realizing exactly how or why, we find ourselves slowly being illuminated and filled by a light lying just below the surface of each poem that ultimately allows us to see ourselves and the world around us through the eyes of a poet who is unafraid to show us what he and we are, and perhaps more importantly, what we all can one day be." --- Steve Tompkins
Mark Chartier was born in Montreal, Que. and grew up in Port Washington, NY and Colorado Springs, CO. He earned a BA in English at Colorado State University-Pueblo, where he discovered his love for writing. He went on to earn two Master's degrees at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs despite suffering from several disabilities. He now teaches special education in Pueblo West, CO. He is also a motivational speaker and speaks at conferences and universities where he shares his triumphs as a student with disabilities and how that led him to become a teacher of students with disabilities. This is his first collection of poetry. For more information, please visit: www.markchartier.com