Gannon Alumni Publish Book of Prose and Poetry – LE CHEVALIER DE GANNON


“A Moment in Time” is an honest conversation that speaks volumes

Ali Smith, Arts and Entertainment Editor

Two Gannon University alumni recently added to the school’s list of published authors with “A Moment in Time”; a collection of poetry and prose by writer Nicholas Fagan and illustrator Maria Hays.

Both graduated from Gannon with degrees in English, Fagan in 2017 and Hays in 2019.

As suggested in his Amazon synopsis of the book, it’s been quite a journey for Fagen. The tale took him 27 years to complete, but it was well worth the wait.

Upon receiving the book and picking up the first few pages, I was immediately reminded of the Gannon Totem, which is also a compilation of art, poetry, and prose.

In fact, as the art editor for the Totem, I was inspired by Hays’ illustration work for the book to try to incorporate the same concept into the 2022 Totem.

Truth be told, these poetic works are emotionally heavy and vulnerable for Fagen, but that content is broken up by fun illustrations and a handful of silly poems like “Ode to Cheeseburger,” which are sure to make me laugh.

This collection of works clearly grew as Fagen did, and in that sense was very easy to read as a student facing all the opportunities and difficulties that came my way.

The themes are healing, grief, pain and growth, many of which can be a universal experience.

One of my favorite works was “I (I hate to admit it but I) don’t like to think about you.”

Not only does this title tell the truth about the chaos that bereaves a relationship and transforms the pain for a purpose, but it only becomes truer and more intense as the stanzas unfold.

It’s about getting lost, controlling your thoughts and emotions, and finding it again, maybe in a better state in the end. Fagen calls this ending “happy,” which describes to a T the journey the poem takes you on.

Although I tend to favor poetry over prose, I enjoyed the work Fagen put into his works.

The one that interested me was “Anger’s Journal,” which, as the title suggests, was told by anger itself, which can sometimes seem to have a mind of its own. The story describes how anger can be encapsulated and how it can exert such control over the person it embodies.

Overall, I’m impressed with Fagen’s vulnerability and commitment to exposing this pain and sharing these experiences, because I know it certainly spoke to me.

This work inspires me to follow Fagen’s model, as he encourages the reader with his closing note and blank pages to finish his book.

“These pages are for you, reader. A dedicated space to explore your creativity and your vulnerability. Hopes and dreams of the past and present. Expectations of the future. Memories of infinite happiness. Smile! There is always more to come. Always,” Fagen wrote.


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