Poetry

The Promised Land
Philip Bryant
978-1-947237-14-8 / $17

Here the urban hum of Chicago's South Side meets the pastoral beauty of small-town Minnesota life--and also its long, lonely winters. Sounds and smells from the Deep South permeate the snowbanks, and the dazzling riffs of Coltrane and Bird brighten the gray November skies. The rhythms are musical and the playful street talk cannot disguise the fact that we're in the presence of an sober-eyed romantic who uses the cadences of the blues to summon the beauty at the core of this often harsh world we live in.

Nordic Accordion - Poems in a Scandinavian Mode
Bart Sutter
978-1-947237-04-9 / $19.95

In his earliest years, the author heard people talk Norwegian in farm kitchens and on the streets in town, and there were Finns, Danes, and Icelanders in the neighborhood, too. The music of these Nordic languages got inside Sutter’s head; he also inherited the homesickness of old-timers who spoke about a legendary land they called The Old Country. In Nordic Accordion Sutter fulfills the covenant he made with his elders long ago—to dramatize, critique, and honor their struggles, their culture, their peculiar ways. The book explores the experience of Scandinavian immigrants, their ancestors, and their descendants. 

Threshold - New and Selected Poems
Cary Waterman
978-1-947237-10-0 / $17.00

The stages in Cary Waterman’s career as a poet and teacher have been marked by the publication of a succession of fine collections dating back to 1975. She has now gathered together the best individual poems from each of these books, along with a robust sampling of her recent work, into one attractive volume. We meet up with a tension between the wild and the domestic again and again, from a graphic scene of butchering pigs to, decades later, a lengthy poem sequence recounting Persephone’s descent into the underworld. There are moments to set the reader on edge—a marriage blender set on chip—and plenty of quiet moments, too, and spots of sheer silliness. Making elderberry jam becomes both a heroic and an erotic experience, an acupuncture treatment is transformed into a spiritual ordeal.  

The Road by Heart - Poems of Fatherhood
ed. Greg Watson and Richard Broderick
978-1-947237-09-4 / $19.95

There are numerous books in print about parenting and family development, but few like this one, in which fathers offer their own accounts of being fathers from a startling variety of perspectives. Editors Greg Watson and Richard Broderick have masterfully gathered poignant, first-hand accounts of moments in a father’s life from teething to burying; reflective poems describing the arc of fatherhood; accounts of insight, struggle, grief and delight gained while being a father; and epiphanies that occur only to parents.

Stars Above, Stars Below
Margaret Hasse
978-1-947237-05-6 / $17

This reissue of Stars Above, Stars Below, originally published in 1984, will reacquaint readers with the early work of Margaret Hasse, one of that remarkable generation of women poets who came of age in the 1970s. Readers approaching her work for the first time are in for a treat, while those who are familiar with her more recent books may recognize some of the same themes: delight in sensual experience, understanding of life’s fragility, appreciation for the largess of memory, and rapt engagement with the natural world, especially the prairies and lakes of the Midwest.

Crossing the Waters
Norita Dittberner-Jax
978-1-935666-98-1
/ $17

CONTENT DESCRIPTION: Norita Dittberner-Jax’s new collection, Crossing the Waters, chronicles the daily triumphs and setbacks, fears and recollections, that arose when her husband, Gene, was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Her first response is a shock so deep / the dreaming shut down…” But the poet, adept at exploring the range of emotions from wistfulness and joy to panic and desperation, regains her bearings to capture details of the roller-coaster days and weeks following the diagnosis. Taken out of context, many of the poems could stand alone as reflections of lost love, memories of excursions shared, and praise for a fleeting moment of laughter or glancing sunlight. Yet other details return our attention repeatedly to our heartbreaking role as witnesses of a loved one’s decline.

Chimes
Michael Dennis Browne
978-1-947237-00-1 / $16

Michael Dennis Browne has gathered together short poems from every phase of his long career into chapters focusing on childhood, nature, private anxieties and irrationalities, extended family, and other themes variously spacious and personal. Some have the ring of nursery rhymes, others the melancholy lilt of an elegy, the blunt force of an occasional poem by Yeats, or the enigmatic resonance of a  passage from scripture.

little eternities
Sharon Chmielarz
978-1-935666-99-8
/ $17

The poet muses on history, memory, language, lost love, and the rain on the roof in this very personal collection. It's chock full of humor and subtle charm, eliciting comparisons to both the brilliant wordplay of Marianne Moore and the subtle metaphysics of Wisława Szymborska.  Humor abounds in poems such as “Size,” which describes the world inhabited by a woman who wears a size 0 dress, and a series of reflections about a Halloween pumpkin containing the line "Humans want their gods to look like them / and lead them through the dark."

 

Between Us
Margaret Hasse
978-1-935666-91-2 / $17

The themes in Margaret Hasse’s new collection range from European travel to reconnecting with distant friends, from knitting to learning to ride a bike. Always thoughtful, un-labored, fresh, her images stir and occasionally provoke us to share affections and antipathies as they come to life on the printed page.

The Moment’s Only Moment
Emilie Buchwald
978-1-935666-90-5 / $17

Emilie Buchwald, a lively presence on the literary scene since she cofounded the literary journal Milkweed Chronicle in 1980, reveals another side of her talent in this new collection of poems, which illuminate the everyday, interrogate personal history, and evoke the essence of places traveled and people encountered, remembered, cherished.

All the Things You Are - Essays
John Toren
978-1-935666-94-3 $16.95

In this, his third essay collection, the author explores the subtleties of pre-dawn light, the art of conversation, the allure of half-forgotten childhood memories, the anxieties and satisfactions of singing in a choir,and the musicality (and irregularity) of personal life through the medium of popular ballads of the Big Band era. Arranged by mood--lyrics, antics, reveries--these essays possess an ebullient energy compounded by the author’s breezy, conversational approach to his chosen themes. 

It Starts with Hope
ed. Betsy Bowen and Ted Bowman
100 pp, 6 x 9, full color

978-1-935666-89-9 / $19.95

The Center for Victims of TortureTM (CVT) is a nongovernmental organization based in St. Paul, Minnesota. It extends multidisciplinary rehabilitative care to torture survivors every day in locations around the world. In honor of its thirtieth anniversary, CVT asked individuals to share what hope means to them on a Tumblr webpage. People sent original photos, poems, and messages of hope from every part of the world, the best of which have been reproduced in the pages of this inspiring book.

Chester Creek Ravine
Haiku
Bart Sutter
ISBN: 978-1-935666-75-2
84 pages, $16.00

The 150 haiku contained in this book—tiny poems with large implications—conjure those revelatory moments alongside Chester Creek, a stream that drops dramatically through the city of Duluth on its final run to Lake Superior. Sutter honors the haiku tradition by sticking close to the classical form, alluding to the seasons, and choosing subjects from the natural world, but his haiku are fully contemporary and include surprises, too, while his subtle use of rhyme helps rivet these impressions in the reader’s mind.

What to Pray For
poems
978-1-935666-73-8
118 pages, $16.00

In this new collection, Michael Kiesow Moore brings imagination and insight to subjects drawn from personal history and cultural experiences ranging from cooking to dance, myth, and music. Childhood traumas and the persecution of those who are “different” provide the subtext for poems of sometimes surprising whimsy and freshness. Homey images sit side by side with scenes of angelic splendor, and compassion for troubled souls spurs theological reflections buoyed less by logic than passionate imagery.

All the World at Once
New and Selected Poems
978-1-935666-74-5
108 pages, $16.00

Greg Watson’s poetry carries an everyday eloquence that harbors elements of mystery as images and thoughts develop with even-tempered grace. He is a master at evoking the silences that grow between lovers, the emotional undertow of gentle rain, the allure of shadows, and the bitter-sweet power of memories and mute artifacts to keep us chained to the past.

Earth's Appetite
Margaret Hasse
978-1-935666-50-9

92 pages, $16.00

The book reminds us of the quirky ways that lives unfold, with rich and varied connections, relationships, and experiences, as Hasse explores various appetites––for adventure, sex, rural landscapes, home, love––from the shifting points of view of a parent, child, lover, or friend.

Salt Heart
Kate Dayton
978-1-935666-49-3
6 x 9, 84 pages, $16

Ostensibly a book of poems about sailing, islands, oceans, and, yes, salt, Kate Dayton’s spare, and sometimes almost surreal imagery conjures the tissue of lives that continue in the midst of devastating losses. With a poet’s sensitivity to how language can touch inner and outer worlds simultaneously, Dayton delivers a powerful rendering of experience that’s as elemental as salt itself.

Cloves & Honey
Athena Kildegaard
6x9, 108 pp, $16.00
978-1-935666-36-3

Cloves & Honey came about as the result of the author’s year-long discipline of writing a
single love poem every day—a daunting but also deeply satisfying project. The best of these poems, winnowed and reworked but as fresh as the day they were written, have been gathered here into a single volume that tracks the seasons, the various forms love can take, the ebb and flow of domestic affection, and a host of other themes captured in daily interactions with family, friends, and the surrounding countryside. In a time of anxiety and unrest, Cloves and Honey explores the mysterious power of love to heal, enliven, and inspire.

Seasonings
Emilio DeGrazia
6x9, 102 pp, $16.00
978-1-935666-41-7

Emilio DeGrazia has written poetry of unusual liveliness and penetration throughout his career, and now the best of them have been brought within the covers of a book. Many of them reflect the author's Italian-American heritage, and quite a few offer seemingly spontaneous responses to everyday occurrences—his son's final at-bat at a baseball game, a wedding, a visit to an old folk's home. He can take us in a few lines from “the firmament aswirl with iron-cored galaxies” to “a kitchen sizzling with the fragrance of garlic in olive oil.”

Book of Fire
Cary Waterman
6 x 9, $16.00 pb
96 pp
978-1-935666-30-1

Cary Waterman writes about travel to Iceland, the myth of Persephone, the luxuriousness of the Minnesota seasons and the difficult realities of a nation at war. Her poems cut close to the heart and pulse with reverence for all life.

The Next Best Thing
Linda Back McKay
6 x 9, $16.00, pb,
96 pp
978-1-935666-24-0

Traversing the landscapes of love, time, grief, humanity, and hope, the poems in this book offer a rollicking range of styles and tones from poignant lyricism to mordant prose, from somber honesty to wild speculation. McKay is a wife, mother, grandmother, author, poet, teaching artist, citizen, traveler, floor scrubber, motorcycle enthusiast, old soul and nature lover. (She can tap dance, too.)

Milk and Tides
Margaret Hasse
6x9, 76 pp. $16.00

978-1-932472-75-2

In this lyrical collection Margaret Hasse covers a wide range of experience, from adoption and childrearing to reflections on war, the changing seasons, and hand-me-down clothes. Some of the poems are meditative, others are humorous, but they invariably spring from close observation and the deft use of images to expose the beauty, challenge, and mystery of common life.

The Wind Blows, the Ice Breaks:
Poems of Loss and Renewal by Minnesota Poets
edited by Ted Bowman and Elizabeth Bourque Johnson
6 x 9 (pb) 208 pp $19.95
ISBN: 978-1-935666-00-4

This anthology contains a wide array of poems by Minnesota poets dealing with the experience of personal loss, grief, and recovery. Among the specific themes are divorce, the death of a child, and giving up a child for adoption. The selections also include moving descriptions of healing and the return of high spirits. Among the poets included are Deborah Keenan, Wang Ping, John Berryman, James Wright, and Robert Bly.

What Music Remains
Greg Watson
6 x 9 78 pp
$14.00
ISBN: 978-1-935666-21-9

In What Music Remains, Greg Watson chronicles moments of poignancy and loss, and helps readers discover what might be in the next room, transforming the domestic usual into the universal extraordinary. These poems begin in the silence of loss and disappointment, and moves toward music and light—“all that good blonde sunlight spilling / out onto the ground at once.”

 

© 2006 Nodin Press