On 26 April, 1986 at 1.23 am, in the cool dark of an early Saturday, the fourth reactor of the Chernobyl nuclear complex exploded. "Heavy Water" is based on eyewitness accounts of the Chernobyl disaster.
Petrucci takes up the challenge confronting society in every age: to attempt the difficult task of exploring its most terrible events.
His poem unites the concerns of artist, humanitarian and historian at a common source: the desire not to forget.
This poem stands to remind us that those who have been exposed to the invisible should never become so.Each segment paints an intimate picture: some elements of everyday life remain unchanged, others are profoundly altered.
The collection's recurring motifs of black and white signal how all are silenced, reduced to anonymity - which in turn engenders fierce solidarity.
Meanwhile, men and machines toil side by side to tackle the insurmountable.
Petrucci's use of scientific and medical terminology makes his descriptions chillingly precise.
In contrast, we hear, from a deeply personal angle, the simply expressed accounts of real people who struggle to cope with the enormity of the disaster. This poem is at once deeply shocking yet pervaded by an uplifting beauty.