“Before the flood, our energies merged with one another, before the torrent, our speculation had no boundaries; now the source has run dry and earth creeps into its prophesized ending. How soon we forget to bleed, and how to buzz.”
~ from “Sweeping Water Winding Past”
Newtown native and accomplished poet Amy Nawrocki will read from her latest book of poetry, Four Blue Eggs, Saturday, March 1, at 7 pm, at Byrd’s Books, 126 Greenwood Avenue in Bethel.
Four Blue Eggs, published by Homebound Publications, was released February 7. The collection of more than two dozen poems are works developed over an extended span of time, said Ms Nawrocki, and are a reflection on the natural world around us, family, and many life experiences.
“I look to nature a lot, to see what the natural world is doing. I notice the way seasons bring us birth and death, and I think that manifests itself in some of my poetry,” she said.
Four Blue Eggs is a full-length collection inspired by a contest run by Homebound Publications.
“It spurred me to put together a book. The theme of the contest was ‘contemplative,’ and I think a lot of my poetry falls into that category. It’s a collection of musings on many things, from music, to nature, to dying,” said Ms Nawrocki.
Because her previous collections were much shorter, they tended to have a narrow focus. With this book, said Ms Nawrocki, she was able to offer a broader range of themes.
“I feel, too, that I’ve matured as a poet. That’s one difference with this collection,” she said.
She anticipates a 35 to 40 minute reading at Byrd’s Books, followed by a question and answer session, and feedback.
“I teach all the time and am always talking to students and my peers, but I do get nervous in reading my own work. But,” she said, “it’s an opportunity for closer interaction with my audience, which can be both exciting and scary. I like hearing my poems out loud. For me, my writing most of the time is solitary. It’s a different phenomenon hearing myself reading out loud. I have to think about performance and enunciations. It’s interesting to see which poems people are paying attention to,” Ms Nawrocki said.
She sees her poetry reading as a chance for readers and listeners to be introduced to the poems, and to experience them in a different way than when read to one’s self.
Choosing from her own favorites, her strongest poems, and linking themes together, Ms Nawrocki hopes to maintain the attention of her audience. “I have a ‘play list,’ but sometimes that doesn’t work, so I’ll go on to something else,” she said.
Among those pieces the audience can expect to hear on March 1 are two of her personal favorites from the book, “The Nautical Way” and “Saving Myself From A Burning Building.”
“I wrote ‘The Nautical Way’ after taking a multi-day hike with my husband from Eastham to Provincetown, on Cape Cod. It was a fascinating hike and got me thinking about why we are so drawn to the sea, and the storytelling.
“‘Saving Myself’ is a poem that I like for the way I figured it out and how it turned out,” Ms Nawrocki said.
Because Byrd’s Books is just up the road from where she grew up, Ms Nawrocki hopes to see old and new friends at the reading.
“I’m excited to be there. Byrd’s is a great, independent bookstore. Independent book stores are important places where people can hear poetry and other writers now,” she said.
Ms Nawrocki earned a bachelor’s degree from Sarah Lawrence College and a masters of fine arts from the University of Arkansas. She has received awards from Litchfield Review Poetry Contest, Codhill Chapbook Competition, The Loft Anthology, Phi Kappa Phi, New Millennium Writings, and the Connecticut Poetry Society. Finishing Line Press published her three chapbooks Potato Eaters, Nomad’s End, and Lune de Miel.
Along with her husband, Eric D. Lehman, Ms Nawrocki is the author of A History of Connecticut Wine, A History of Connecticut Food and A Literary History of Connecticut. She teaches English and Creative Writing at the University of Bridgeport.