This book recently won an Honorable Mention
by the Council for Wisconsin Writers in their annual contest. This is a GREAT BOOK!
Robert Nordstrom grew up in Ohio but found his true home in Wisconsin, where he has lived for the past 35 years. His fiction, essays and poetry have appeared in numerous state and national literary publications. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee master’s program in creative writing, he served as editor for various scholarly and trade magazines, as well as a writing instructor at the university level, for over 30 years. His poetry has won several awards, including the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets Triad contests and the Hal Grutzmacher Literary Contests. His poem “Old Lovers” won the 2014 Hal Prize and a residency stay at Write On. These days he stays busy writing poetry sandwiched by a stint as a school bus driver teaching kindergarteners how to snap their fingers and warning that it’s probably best they not lick the seat in front of them.
Praise for The Sacred Monotony of Breath
Just read “Waiting for the Kitchen Floor to Dry” and try to tell me Robert Nordstrom is not a powerful and sensitive witness. Nordstrom asks the big questions about love and death, old lovers and the celebration of living (“Recalling Happy”). Tell me there’s a better title than “Drinking Tea Downwind from Auschwitz” or a better first line than “my dog’s a liar and she’s not very good at it” (“Good Dog”). Read these poems. These are good poems.
Bruce Dethlefsen, author of Small Talk and Unexpected Shiny Things, Wisconsin Poet Laureate (2011-2012)
Robert Nordstrom's poems live richly in the space between memory, breath, and desire. Nostalgic, doubting, and doubling-back over the lost country of childhood and adolescence, he affectionately searches the past for clues that will illuminate the mysterious and haunting present.
Alison Luterman, author of Desire Zoo and Feral City
Robert Nordstrom writes with lyrically gritty understatement, compassion, and humor about the ordinary personal and its historical and political shadows: a dead mother “hair in curlers,/ nibbling an egg salad sandwich/ on the dark side of a screen door,” “a shoplifting orgy/ of squirt guns and yo-yos the morning after” a trip to the altar, returning from Vietnam to a shopping mall’s parking lot, a locker room in which “we’re all a bunch of cheerleaders and assassins/ with remotes,” a bus-load of school kids … already programmed with the high and low impulses of humans. “These children, these children, these children—/ why do I love them so? Because they open the windows / on the first warm day of winter,/ inhabit their stories before parody obscures.” Listen as Nordstrom allows his readers to inhabit their stories too.
Wendy Vardaman, author of Obstructed View and founding co-editor of Cowfeather Press. She is one of Madison, Wisconsin's two Poets Laureate (2012-2015).
6" x 9" (15.24 x 22.86 cm)
Black & White on White paper
©2015 Robert Nordstrom
Published by Prolific Press Inc.
Harborton, VA (USA)
BISAC: Poetry / General