Poems, Readings and events, Uncategorized

the chaos of tumbling

Hold steady . . .  find your still point . . . get used to letting go . . .

I was pleased to by honored recently by the Hamden Arts Commission and the Hamden Symphony Orchestra for my poem “Circumstance.” The poem won second place in the first ever poetry award co-sponsored by both organizations. Also featured during the orchestra’s spring concert were fellow poets Meri Haray and Laura Alshul and the winners of the Young Musicians Concerto Competition. Listen:

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Photo by Huie Dinwiddie on Pexels.com

I’m also trying out my new voice, mostly recovered from vocal cord paralysis. Work in progress.

Poems, Reconnaissance, Signed Copies, Uncategorized

the paraphrase of a quail egg

After Inspecting Brassaï’s Graffiti

At Musée d’Art Moderne
I notice the construct of silhouetted
stick figures juxtaposed above a door;
one’s triangular body tells me
to go into a different salle. There,
I find another version of graffiti
on the door in front of me as I sit down.
This is not art someone has written.
My bladder agrees, but against this angst
and all treachery of the world’s turmoil
another has revolted: Yes it is—
Art is what you make of it. Such words
delight me at first; they affect such openness,
pretend pluralism, and compel acceptance
of every sapling of discontent that arises
at seeing paint spread like entrails on the floor.
What you make of it . . . as if anyone could
wake and slither into anarchy and come out
with the paraphrase of a quail egg. I go out
and back to the exhibits, back to the violence
and spectacle of color and form. Seeking out
other dimensions, I walk into a room wrapped
in giant spools of gray, industrial felt.
At the end of one hall, a sculpture in straw
creates the illusion of an airplane; a thousand
pairs of scissors spear its shape. Art is
what you make of it? I need to go back:
digging into my bag and finding a pen
I scratch the last two words into blackness.

The poem is featured in Reconnaissance, published by Homebound Publications. For a signed copy (and free shipping), click the side menu and find “Purchase Signed Copies.”

Navigate to previous posts using the arrow on the right-hand-side menu.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

30/30, Poems, Signed Copies, Uncategorized

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!

 

 

 

 

Four Blue Eggs, The Comet's Tail, Uncategorized

Insomnia, debunked

From Four Blue Eggs (2017 Homebound Publications), a poem that has had quite a journey, from a notebooks sketch more than 25 years ago to a small but central kernel excerpted in my forthcoming memoir, The Comet’s Tail: A Memoir of No Memory.

In My Sleeplessness, I Hear an Opera

In the beginning, I hear the darkness.
I am crowded by the soprano’s knowlege
of body rhythms. I see I E flat cry.
And then the light bulbs begin to sprout, one
by one, by the side of the stage where all
the Presidents line up in order.
I know them by their thunderous tenors,
because when eyelids magnetize I do not
sleep. After that I pretend that I lay
in a coffin, my arms folded like white
linen in a closet oddly fitted
to the size of my body. I smell cedar.
But all this time I have been wondering
if my eyelashes have learned how to sing.

I’ll be reading from Four Blue Eggs and other works at Byrd’s Books in Bethel CT, on Friday, May 18th at 7:00 for part three of Byrd’s Spring Poetry Series.

Four Blue Eggs Cover Second Edition-final

 

Four Blue Eggs, The Comet's Tail, Uncategorized

Forthcoming

As the year winds down, I’m looking forward next year’s release of The Comet’s Tail: A Memoir of No Memory. This will be one of two essays released by Little Bound Books, a division of Homebound Publications.

Comets Tail Cover Final

Kirkus calls it “a complex and compelling memoir.” Read the full review here.

As an enticement (Homebound is taking pre-orders), here is “In My Sleeplessness, I Hear an Opera” which is featured in Four Blue Eggs.

In My Sleeplessness, I Hear an Opera

In the beginning, I hear the darkness.
I’m crowded by the soprano’s knowledge
of body rhythms. I see E flat cry.
And then the light bulbs begin to sprout, one
by one, by the side of the stage where all
the presidents line up in order.
I know them by their thunderous tenors
because when eyelids magnetize, I do not
sleep. After that, I pretend I that I lie
in a coffin, my arms folded like white
linen in a closet oddly fitted
to the size of my body. I smell cedar.
But all this time I have been wondering
If my eyelashes have learned how to sing.

 

 

 

 

Poems

Ordinary Acts

A Gathering of Sorts

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As morning curdles its way to noontime,
autumn plays its lazy guitar.
To join the living world,
we make our way to the post office
with enough change in hand for three stamps.
Their duty is delivering messages:
a utility bill, the insurance payment, a letter
to a friend. In the front of the line,
a woman’s daughter spins
and spins in her orbit.
Gathering packages in his arms,
a man, Santa-like in tweed jacket
and leather cap, stands beside
a painter covered in plaster.
He sways and looks away
from us, staring instead into
the clouds of his day.

Each day we perform ordinary acts:
we teach algebra, refinance mortgages,
cook dinner, journey to the moon.

Each day a mixture of light and color
penetrates our trust. We place our faith
in little things: the oak’s red summit,
a stamped envelope,
holding the door for each other
as we enter and leave each other’s lives.