“The way the body tethers us to the earth”

Mouthbrooders, by Amy Nawrocki, is a collection of contemplative poems, an exploration of the relationship between the creature self and the life of the mind.”

Read the entire review at Necromancy Never Pays, Jeanne Griggs’s blog about all things literary. I’m grateful to her for her review.

Like the speaker looking for her reading glasses in “Hourglasses,” readers of Nawrocki’s volume are glad for the reassurance that “there is no failure/in blinking yourself into clarity.”

Jeanne Griggs
https://homeboundpublications.com/mouthbrooders/

Jeanne Griggs is a reader, writer, traveler, and ailurophile. She directs the writing center at Kenyon College and plays violin in the Knox County Symphony. Check out her new collection Postcard Poems, available from Broadstone Books.

In Postcard Poems, Jeanne Griggs presents a family travel album. These vacation notes take us to iconic destinations, out-of-the-way downtowns, beach rentals, bookstores, art museums, and two-star motels. We hear the voice of a speaker longing to taste stale Cheerios and sip hot tea, watch the children wade in the surf, and make the distances between long ago and yesterday a little more tolerable. Griggs crafts a quiet cadence of absence to say: “Here I am now, missing you.” In the end, this collection helps the traveler in all of us realize that we are never “just visiting.” We piece together the narrative of our life’s travels one postcard at a time.

—Amy Nawrocki, author of Mouthbrooders & The Comet’s Tail: A Memoir of No Memory

This may sound easy. It isn’t.

“A poet is somebody who feels, and who expresses [her] feeling through words. This may sound easy. It isn’t.”

E.E. Cummings (or e.e. cummings as he preferred) wrote this advice to a young poet, and my poetry teacher shared it with me when I first started writing. After 27 years, it’s still not easy, but I can’t stop, and starting next week, I will write one poem a day for 30 days.

I’ll be participating in Tupelo Press’s 30/30 project, and joining over 175 poets who’ve committed to writing 30 poems in 30 days. Four poets will join me for March, and I’m excited to get started.

We’re all inviting family, friends, and colleagues to sponsor us. It’s not a competition, but we’re all raising money for Tupelo Press, one of the best independent publishers in the country, and a great supporter of poetry. But I need a little more than a retweet or Facebook Like. Support my efforts with a donation.

https://tupelopress.networkforgood.com/projects/47224-amy-nawrocki-s-fundraiser

By sponsoring my 30/30 efforts, you will send me vital encouragement and help the Tupelo Press continue to put more poets into print. Here’s why it matters:

  • Independent literary publishers are mission-driven—they focus on publishing literature.
  • Independent literary publishers provide access to the voices of entire communities.
  • Independent literary publishers produce over 98% of poetry being published each year, and the majority of literature in translation and works of fiction by emerging writers.

Your sponsorship can be at any level; no amount is too small or insignificant.

  • For a donation of $10, I’ll send you a personized origami box, designed with one of my poems.
  • For $15, I’ll dedicate a poem to you.
  • If you can support me with $30 (just $1/day), I’ll send you a signed copy of either Four Blue Eggs or Reconnaissance.
  • For a donation of $60 (2 dollars a day), I’ll send you a signed copy The Comet’s Tail: A Memoir of No Memory before its April 10 release date.
  • Customize your donation. Birthday coming up? Need a wedding poem? New baby coming? Retirement? I’m in.

Sponsor Amy Nawrocki

Tupelo Press is a prestigious non-profit press, for seventeen years their mission has been to publish new voices. They are giving my work some exposure, which is sometimes hard to come by.

“If,” continued cummings, “at the end of your first ten or fifteen years of fighting and working and feeling, you find you’ve written one line of one poem, you’ll be very lucky indeed.”

I’m very lucky indeed to have had such great support throughout my writing career. Keep it going and kick off March with me. I’ll post my first poem in just over a week. Follow my progress.

Donate Today

My very best,

Amy Nawrocki

 

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Sponsor me with a donation of $5 for your very own origami box, personalized with one of my 30/30 poems!

 

 

 

 

One poem a day . . . for 30 days

I’m excited to be part of Tupelo Press’s 30/30 project. I will be joining 173 poets who committed to this daily practice of shaping words on the page. It’s not as easy as it sounds. I look forward to pushing myself. I start March 1st.

If you write or read or just want to try to make the world a better place through art, please support my efforts. Fundraising supports Tupelo Press and helps me stay motivated. Writers need readers: make poetry a part of your March.

DONATE HERE 

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Escaping the hook

I’m looking forward to an upcoming post-Christmas family reunion. Here is one of my favorite poems from Potato Eaters, my first chapbook from Finishing Line Press. The photo, too, is one of my favorites, found in an attic box years ago. That’s my mother, on the right, and two of her brothers on the left.

Click the yellow BUY NOW button found at the bottom of the page (or this link) to order a signed copy.

Fishing with My Brother

My brother, who is prone to nosebleeds
hasn’t the efficiency to heal wounds;
on his left arm burn marks permanently
blister. His chin bears the scar of the second
fall on the steep hill below the house.

You can’t get any better than that
he says, pushing the fishing line
into my face. Of all the fish ever
to swim in this pond or that, this
one decides to end life on a hook,
its flesh torn and gaping. We
could take a lesson, learn when to give
up, when to know enough is enough.

dana-john-ferne-swingsetHe throws the fish back. How did he become
so elemental? How did he know
the average heart cannot drown
itself too deep, forgetting its purpose?
I want to tell him walk a bit with me
and we’ll cry to the birds who nest by us
in the fairy tale. He’ll listen, I hope.
I can’t wait to see him plant fields, discover
electricity, and cut a strong path
through jungles. But there will be time for that.
Nine times out of ten, it is speed
that breaks us; we grow too fast
trying to fly, or escape the hook.

Back on the Vine

Thanks to Voices of Poetry and Hopkins Vineyard  for hosting “Back on the Vine” poetry reading and music event at the beautiful vineyard in Warren, CT. The wine was great, and the poetry was even better, spoken and sung. Readers included David K. Leff, me, Charlie Bondhus, Melissa Tuckey, with music by Carol Leven and Nick Moran.

Please support us and all artists, writers, musicians who do what we do because we love it. Buy books and CDs, come back to our readings, follow us on Facebook, sign up for our classes, share wine with us at your local poetry watering hole (which essentially means anywhere).

David K. Leff

Amy Nawrocki

Charlie Bondhus

Melissa Tuckey

Carol and Nick

Charlie and Amy

Amy, Charlie, David, and Melissa

Guided Tour: Featured Preview from Homebound Publications

Guided Tour | A Poem from Reconnasissance

We’re gearing up for April—National Poetry Month—here is a preview from Reconnaissance by Amy Nawrocki. In her latest collection, Amy plays voyeur and thief, surveying canvases and investigating bookshelves, searching for creativity’s origins and exploring the nature of inspiration. The poems in Reconnaissance uncover muses between the frayed pages of Byron and Shelley, in Chagall’s stained glass, at Oscar Wilde’s grave, past the deep bogs of Glencoe, and in the far away snow caps of Mount Fuji. In these insightful and elegant poems, Nawrocki invites us to believe in “the authenticity of first sight.” Open the paint box and learn how to stare.

Look for the collection April 7, 2015! Learn More or pre-order»

Enjoy a selection from the book, Guided Tour.

Guided Tour

Memorize a few loose-leaf pages,
note important dates with precision. Mention
the children by name and explain the heritage
of the highboy in the parlor—cherry, late 18th century,
brass fixtures, replacements, not original.
Demonstrate the peculiar habits
of instruments placed with emphasis
around the house: pretend to fill
the tin-top foot warmers with hot coals,
mimic the dipping of candle wicks
in and out of their molds, smile coyly
as you tighten the rope mattress
with the antique bed key the way
someone would have two hundred years ago.

At times you recognize a twinge
of inaccuracy in the script, something
tinkering toward futility escaping
in your voice. And for a few minutes
as you watch visitors wave back
on their way to the car you wonder
if a pleasant tone and a few lucky cobwebs
are enough to recapture the history of a farmhouse
or of inhabitants who never seem to leave
enough behind. The past seems repetitive

until a blind man who need help placing
his feet up stone steps, bends into a prayer pose
and touches the floor’s pine planks
with both hands. Through the kitchen
and side bedrooms, past looms and the old
rocking horse, he feels his way and measures
distances with small steps. He knows
without being told that we’ve returned
to the front entrance, “where we started.”

Reconnaissance_cov_smReconnaissance

Poems by Amy Nawrocki
ISBN: 978-1-938846-69-4 | 6×9 | 100pgs
Pre-Order Now | List Price: $14.95
This book will be released on April 7, 2015. Pre-order exclusively in our store and we will ship your order a full two weeks in advance!