MANSFIELD -- Perhaps when Nick Gardner was going through his "darkest of times," he was preparing to shine the brightest.
His new book of poetry, So Marvelously Far, is a collection of 70 poems about his life during and post opioid use. It's shaped around his revitalization after going through rehabilitation.
"I had a professor who convinced me to write sonnets — 14-line poems," said Gardner, a grad student at Bowling Green State University. "It's like putting walls around emotions in some way."
The poems, he said, are about the darkest things that were in his mind during 2014, when he wrote the lines. After two years in a rehab center in Louisiana, Gardner came back to Mansfield.
"I saw the revitalization of the city -- a new bookstore, a new brewery, and realized in a way, I too was revitalizing myself: becoming a new life form in a way," he said.
The book runs as a parallel with Mansfield's recovery as well as his own.
"It's talking hand-in-hand recovery of the town and of me," he said.
The book can be purchased at Main Street Books, online and on Gardner's website.
He will be hosting a reading event at Main Street Bookstore on Saturday, Dec. 14 at 4 p.m.