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!

 

 

 

 

First Editions

To celebrating the release of the second edition of Reconnaissance, enjoy this poem about first editions. Click the title to order your own first edition at a special discounted price.

The Thief

I apprenticed well. For a sixth grade project,
Mrs. Montecalvo taught me the worth
of a good forgery when she assigned
the footnoted history of a painter
and encouraged an attempt at imitation.

Seeing Monet’s Westminster Bridge reprinted
in Reader’s Digest, I modeled my own
with schoolgirl brushes and an aptitude
for blending. I typed his biography
on a blue Remington, stenciled a title page,
punched symmetrical holes and glued
the masterpiece into a pocketed folder.
I never got the stink of acrylic off my fingers.

 

bridge 1 3 001
After Monet: Westminster Bridge, Acrylic on paper, circa 1985 

 

Audacity and small victories: these
are gateways for any scavenger.
Once one is secure in the false flat
of a sloped horizon, transformations
are easy: an open book, so to speak.

I pocketed the Collected Poems
of ee cummings wholesale, tore
the bar code from the last page
and slipped its frayed spine between
loose-leaf sheets of unlined
but perforated notebooks. Long after,
the card catalog entry went away too.

Like other trophies, I just stored it,
held it in a box of pressed flowers
and half memorized poems, among
generous piles of pens and paint brushes,
newspaper clippings and dirty love letters
scribbled on the backs of postcards.
For these corruptions I’ve paid only
in callouses and broken pencil tips.
Despite my best calligraphy,
slippery pens have crossed out
entire lines carefully typeset in Linotype
or Century Schoolbook, my marks bleeding
through pages now unreadable.

In the gray area between homage
and sacrilege, I thieve too much:
red wheelbarrows pile full of leaves and dirt
and burnable logs pressed into the pulp
of scrap paper or woven into stretchable
canvases. Little I see in nature
that is my own. I stole van Gogh’s sadness
and painted it on my shoulder.
Like Olympia, I learned how to stare.

Next time, let me mimic the syntax of bridges
and throw sand over wet, stolen ink.
Let me trust in surveillance. Once the thief
learns to discern original from run of the mill
everything is a first edition; everything
is one of a kind.