Throughout The Route to Cacharel, Nickel poses a central question: “the dead speak if we listen, but how do we hear them in the cackling of the modern world?” The answer is found in the particulars of the natural world. Spiritual yet visceral, these powerful poems offer comfort: “There is someone whispering over a candle perhaps for you too.” If as Nickel observes, “in the end, we are measured by our generosity,” this magnificent collection lights not just one but a multitude of candles to guide us in the dark.
~Vivian Shipley, author of The Poet and Perennial
Like one of its characters, The Route to Cacharel balances “the knowing with the longing.” Here is history and yearning amid the vividly rendered but insufficient pleasures of the present. “We are unable to resign ourselves to the end / Of what we love”—yes. These ambitious poems offer things to savor, things to grieve, and much, much to ponder.
~Ron Smith, Poet Laureate of Virginia and author of Its Ghostly Workshop, Moon Road, and Running Again in Hollywood Cemetery