House of Water
House of Water
“Nienow’s lyrics fit together with watertight precision as he praises labor and the act of trudging through when disaster strikes. . .”
Available in print.
Matthew Nienow lives in Port Townsend, Washington with his wife and two sons, where he builds boats and custom wooden paddle boards. His poems have appeared in Best New Poets (2007 and 2012), New England Review and Poetry, which awarded him a 2013 Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship. He has also received fellowships, grants and support from the National Endowment for the Arts (2011 Fellowship), the Elizabeth George Foundation, Artist Trust of Washington State, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and 4Culture of Seattle.
“Matthew Nienow understands the spell-like power of calling things by their ancient, actual names: nubbins and sapwood, preachers and riving knives, lapstrake and bulwarks and sponsons. House of Water is a marvelous debut, full of love songs to work, to struggle, and to all that is plumb, and level, and true.”
“Deeply felt and beautifully built, the poems in Matthew Nienow’s long-awaited debut shimmer with hard-won grace. Nienow—father, husband, boat builder—is a keen observer of his world. He pries open intimate moments to reveal joy, sorrow, and music that’s restorative, uncanny. Cumulatively, the poems are a testament to a rural life and to the eternal bonds love hammers into existence. Formally rigorous and emotionally complex, House of Water is a staggering book that marks the arrival of an important voice in American poetry.”
—Eduardo C. Corral
“Within his first full length poetry collection, House of Water, Nienow puts his indelible signature on the short list of now emerging poets who contain within them that rare and wondrous alchemy of intellectual curiosity, emotional truthfulness, and formal acumen that will move the poetic art forward in decades to come. And oh, the beautiful structures Nienow builds from his shipyard, and with such expertly sharpened tools. This is as fine a first book as I’ve ever read. An absolute pleasure, and must read for all serious poetry lovers.”
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