ôTwilight Innings is packed with sometimes painful, sometimes funny, but always insightfully drawn experiences that come from everyday life. FinkÆs essays have a beginning, middle, and an end. They have characters. They are stories that take you into the corners of his personal world, and itÆs a trip worth making. ôùKen Hammond
ôIn these essays Fink puts himself in the middle of the diamond as in the middle of things American, and readers are grateful to be witnesses to the informed heart, the discriminate sympathy, the keen yet modest intelligence, the deftness of his prose strokes.ö ùBruce Smith
ôIn the interstices of silence, a spoken word isùparadoxicallyùdangerously inappropriate and yet desperately desired. Any word uttered must be sure, apt, and, above all, honest. Bob Fink speaks into the void with just such infallible assurance and disarming candor.ö ùSteve Weathers
"In this wise collection of essays Bob Fink leads himself and readers into the lessons nobody trains us for, past survivorÆs guilt into survivorÆs empathy. Whether writing about the psychological echoes of his military service as an officer ('the young leading the young') in Vietnam, or the death by cancer of poet Jane Kenyon, or entering the small beauties of kindness that visited the horror of the Triangle Shirtwaist Company Fire, or reflecting into the pleasures and metaphoric resonances of baseball, Fink is an amiable witness of what it means to live and teach with faith and compassion."ùAlison Hawthorne Deming, author of Writing the Sacred into the Real
ô[I am] not really surprised at all to learn that Bob, who has always made good, if occasionally oblique, use of his life experiences in his poems, has done so even more directly in a companionable genre. Those who admire his poems, as I and many others do, will be pleased to learn more here about the man (and about the woman who stands behind, beside, and sometimes in front of him).ö ùR. S. Gwynn, from the Foreword
Previously published in the Cortland Review, Concho River Review, the Iowa Review, the Mississippi Review, River Teeth, the Texas Review, Texas Magazine, and other journals, Robert A. FinkÆs essaysùjoyful, sorrowful, nostalgic, gently sardonicùare collected here for the first time. With a poetÆs sensibility, Fink explores his memories of Vietnam; the satisfaction he finds in running; the beauty, order, and grace of baseball; and the necessity of laughter, and of laughing at ourselves.
Robert A. Fink is W. D. and Hollis R. Bond Professor of English and Director of Creative Writing at Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas. He is the author of several books of poetry, most recently Tracking the Morning.