Southeast Missouri State University Press

Two Sides of the Same Thing: Poems

Matthew Nienow

2007 Copperdome Poetry Chapbook Contest Winner
Publication: 2007
Pages: 32

“With ‘dark swollen words and shifting air,’ Matthew Nienow builds poems as if building boats, ‘each strip like a tree’s growth,’ and ‘asking the question rivers are always asking: why?’ From Nienow I am grateful to have learned that poetry ‘is movement with one desire: to pull at whatever it touches.’ There is much talk these days of the importance of a poet’s voice. But here we have proof that a poet’s ear… for music, for complexity, for ‘the prodigal aria returning home’…is just as important.” — Todd Boss

“In these poems, human beings work willingly to make what does not yet exist—a boat, a garden, a poem, a marriage. At the same time, they witness life’s unmaking—cancer, suicide, a fresh animal carcass. Matthew Nienow moves like an attentive guide into the wild power of earth and the imagination to reconcile this tension. All around him, mouths are poised to tell stories. He listens. The poems that have come of his journey are collective but intimate. While loss unsettles, love reassures. Self-revelation inspires trust as we, too, are called to witness cycles of generation and loss beyond human control.” —Diane LeBlanc

Acknowledgements from this collection:

American Literary Review:  “Elegy with a Rope in It”

Baltimore Review:  “She Moves Her Body”

Best New Poets 2007:  “Six Ways of Looking at the Moon” (reprint)

Blue Earth Review: “How Marriage Is like Baking Bread”

Eclipse: “Six Ways of Looking at the Moon” and “A Sound that Meant Home” (first published under the title “My Mother, The Siren”)

Hiram Poetry Review: “One Summer with the Inuit” and “Rubbing My Mother’s Bald Head”

Poet Lore: “Spring Planting”

The Saint Ann’s Review: “This Is What It Means to Say Seattle, Washington”

Salamander: “The First Kill”

Spoon River Poetry Review: “In the Garden, My Father”

Trestle Creek Review: “What the Tundra Has to Offer

Matt Nienow’s work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in several journals, including American Literary Review, Poet Lore, and Atlanta Review, and was recently selected by Natasha Trethewey for inclusion in Best New Poets 2007.

Chapbook, $6.00
ISBN: 978-0-9798714-2-9