The Unfastening:
From Manuscript to Book

Welcome to our website. Our purpose is to explore Wesley McNair’s creative process as he wrote his new collection of poems, The Unfastening. We hope our site will provide students, teachers and general readers with a new way to read and understand a book of poetry.

At the center of the site is the full text of The Unfastening. By clicking on selected poems, you’ll be able to hear McNair read his work, and to investigate revisions that led to the poems’ final versions. Check out the resources menu to investigate McNair’s process as he shaped the book. “Map of McNair’s Journey in Revision” features four progressive versions of The Unfastening, with related questions. “What’s in a Book Cover?” includes the email correspondence between McNair and his cover artist, Rob Brinkerhoff. You’ll discover a discussion there of the general aims of the collection, together with a series of rejected covers that led to the final choice. To learn more about the making of the collection as McNair experienced it, see the interview with him, “The Making of The Unfastening.” The interview includes photographs of the places that inspired his book and the locations where he wrote its poems.

To send us your responses to the resources and questions of this website – whether you’re moved to write an essay, create an artwork, or make a video – please contact us here. We’ll be selecting the best of what we find for inclusion on this site in the future.

Note: The source of this website is The Unfastening, published in 2017 by David R. Godine. We strongly recommend that users of this site purchase that book for the complete experience we offer here.

On the Making of The Unfastening: An Interview with Wesley McNair

An interview with Wesley McNair about the making of his new poetry collection, The Unfastening.

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