Poetic justice for award-winning book

Malvernite releases second edition of his book ‘Bare’

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Eighteen years ago, Malvernite Eric Hafker decided to review more than 100 poems that he had written between 1993 and 1999. “There were some poems that I revised over 50 times,” Hafker said.

He selected 38 and created the poetry book “Bare” — a title that he said reveals who he is. “With me, what you get is who you see,” said the 49-year-old high school teacher at St. Francis Preparatory School in Queens. “I try to bare all of me, all the time. Imagine if everyone did.”

The book, which sold more than 500 copies, won several awards, including an Honorable Mention in Writer’s Digest’s 200 Self-Published Book Awards for Poetry, and several of its poems were published in journals. In 2007, the book went out of print.

But Hafker’s poems had touched his longtime friend Gary Jansen, who suggested reprinting the book last year.

In May, Hafker released the second edition of “Bare,” which contains the same poems as its predecessor, with 12 slightly edited.

The biggest change was the use of a poetry style called an enjambment. “It’s like you’re abruptly ending a line where you normally wouldn’t,” said Hafker. “It gives the line a double meaning.”

Hafker says his wife and nature are great inspirations, as are his favorite poets: Pablo Neruda, Billy Collins, Yehuda Amichai and Rumi.

“I still try to see it through the eyes of 10-year-old Eric,” he said. “I still get excited, and try to see things as fresh and new.”

Hafker teaches English, American literature and poetry at St. Francis Prep and is the moderator of the high school’s literary arts journal, “Little Portions.”

He will be reading “Bare” at Turn of the Corkscrew Books & Wine in Rockville Centre on Aug. 11 at 7:30 p.m. For more information, go to turnofthecorkscrew.com or call (516) 764-6000.