"Deeply felt and beautifully built, the poems in Matthew Nienow's long-awaited debut shimmer with hard-won grace. . . . House of Water is a staggering book that marks the arrival of an important voice in American poetry."Eduardo C. Corral
This debut highlights fatherhood at its peak as it juggles the uncertainty and deeper meaning of everyday life. The hesitant, yet curious voice of the poems are deeply entrenched in the familial, yet also refreshingly open about the crush one feels when their ideals crash down. How does one build a life, only to be redirected and start anew?
is evening-lit in your hands
so the boat it shows
in its small square of water
has the light of the room, the windows
behind you, the reflected bay
the magazine's horizon
nearly the same, so no matter
how you try to strip the room
of metaphor and meaning, the room
becomes the boat, which you are in,
hardly alone with your red sails
and curtain wind
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.