Clif Mason, dean of arts and sciences at Bellevue University, will introduce his newest epic poem, “The Book of Night & Waking,” during National Library Week and National Poetry Month April 22 at the Freeman Lozier Library, 1028 Bruin Blvd.

Clif Mason, Bellevue University’s dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, will present his newest book in April to celebrate National Library Week and National Poetry Month.

“The Book of Night & Waking,” is a 66-page epic poem (a long form, narrative poem) published March 1.

Mason will present a reading of “The Book of Night & Waking” April 23 from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. at the Freeman Lozier Library, 1028 Bruin Blvd.

The poem is a “magical realist book,” Mason said, and focuses on mixing magical events and realistic events.

Mason’s writing for the epic poem began more than eight years ago. He said the plot focuses on a man who is deeply grieved by war, and walks to Antarctica to escape the realities of war and society.

“It’s based on my impressions of war throughout my life, which have been many,” he said.

“The reason he chooses Antarctica is because it represents a purity and innocence and transcendence of worldly politics.”

Because National Library Week and National Poetry Month collide, Mason said he thought it would be a perfect time to introduce his poem to BU.

Mason said he has “many inspirations” for creating an epic poem.

“It’s based on the idea of ‘The Odyssey” where you travel from place to place and experience both beauty and great tragedy along the way,” he said. “Most closely to American history, there’s Walt Whitman’s ‘Song of Myself.’”

Mason will also have another book coming out at the end of the month, and a few other projects in the works from poetry to novels.

Commenting is limited to Omaha World-Herald subscribers. To sign up, click here.

If you're already a subscriber and need to activate your access or log in, click here.