Poet Bill Hedrington, my friend and college classmate, died in a crash toward the end of his twenty-fourth year. Eight years ago, I helped Michael Smith and Bruce Cleary publish Bill’s poems on the web: billhedrington.org.
Bill’s poems have been subsequently published by Shambling Gate Press and can be ordered from Book Clearing House, among others.
Taken together, the poetry of William Hedrington and the biographical introduction by Michael Smith make On the Downhill Side a compelling story of both a promising life cut tragically short and the brief flowering of a brilliant poetic talent.
â€œAny reader whose senses have been even slightly dulled by the drone of much contemporary poetry will be shaken into alertness by the vivid and fresh language of William Hedrington. What a pleasure to be awakened to the daylight of this imaginative and highly compelling poet.â€
â€” Billy Collins, Poet Laureate of the United States
The dead litter so,
leave clothes in drawers,
old photographs, everything,
They are as thoughtless as children,
who will get up with the sun,
take an apple,
and set out for the world’s end.
â€” William Hedrington