Open Wide, the Eye: Poems by Susan Dworski Nusbaum

Open-wide-eyeOpen Wide, the Eye ($11.95, 150 pages, ISBN: 978-1-60381-987-9) is a collection of sixty new poems by Susan Dworski Nusbaum.

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Read an interview with Susan on Cultured Vultures.

“They say writers are artists and that really shines through in Susan Dworski Nusbaum’s writing. I should imagine there are many artists out there, who would pay a great deal, if only they could paint some of the pictures in Susan Dworski Nusbaum’s mind. Some of the beautiful images trapped within these pages could fill galleries and captivate masses. Her poems paint pictures of moments and views, many of us wouldn’t even stop to appreciate or think to remember. She also covers memories and significant moments such as: motherhood, family, friendship, loss and much much more, while simultaneously painting pictures so captivatingly detailed, I found myself lost in the world she was trying to create. This is a beautiful book, and one I highly recommend.”  Read more….

—Rebecca Thorne for Cultured Vultures

“Reading this collection, I arrived to where the poet asks, ‘on moonless nights, what guides / A mother’s lips to find the fontanel?’ And it was at this moment that I realized what power it was—mother/muse/emanating spirit—that received these poems and in turn gave them to us. ‘Scalded by the beauty’ of the places and times of her life within timeless Time from childhood to widowhood (such beautiful elegies here), Susan Nusbaum, even as she asks ‘Where will we turn next to find true love?’ has created here the evidential answer itself, musical songs that are able to open wide our eyes.”

—William Heyen, author of Shoah Train, National Book Award finalist

Open Wide, The Eye is a collection of stunningly original, precise, and exquisite poems. Nusbaum’s eye for the telling detail is as sharp as her ear for the music of the language, and these poems track the inner life as carefully and movingly as they track the sensory experience of this world. This is real poetry, speaking as poignantly to the heart as to the intellect.”

—Laura Kasischke, author of The Infinitesimals

“Susan Nusbaum’s generous new book, Open Wide, the Eye springs from an artist’s impulse to capture the pulsing beauty of the world. Intelligent, empathetic, and widely-traveled, Nusbaum is gifted with a broad yet probing vision and an ear for precision. Her poetic landscapes (as well as seascapes, skyscapes, and cityscapes) can be literally dazzling. Yet she’s also impressive at conjuring sound and physical sensation, especially in poems that focus on music, or on the longing that comes with loss. Elsewhere, in narratives, she deals with human suffering and childhood nostalgia, but it’s the best of her painterly, contemplative poems that leave the reader stunned.”

—Joan Murray, author of Swimming for the Ark

The author describes her collection as follows: “Moments of attentiveness illuminate our world, interrupting the rush of time to make each flash a revelation. Stopping to see what we may not have noticed, to listen, to feel, to remember past sensations, deepens our insights. This collection of poems examines the art of seeing with all the senses, unveiling the essential realities hidden in common objects and experiences. The attraction of rabbit to ripening pear, the crunch of shells on the beach, connections with strangers, with our families and places from the past, with a fresco, a wood engraving, a Bach oratorio… these small epiphanies are “the lingering strands of light… that bind each morning to the next.”

Born in Rochester, NY, Susan Dworski Nusbaum received her BA from Smith College and her law degree from the University of Buffalo Law School. She lives in Buffalo, N.Y., where she has worked as a teacher, arts administrator, and most recently as a criminal prosecutor. She has been a frequent participant in the Chautauqua Institution Writers’ Festival and Chautauqua Writers’ Center poetry workshops, and has served on the Board of the Chautauqua Literary Arts Friends. Her work has appeared in numerous publications, including The Connecticut Review, Poetry East, Nimrod International Journal, Chautauqua Literary Journal, Chautauqua, Harpur Palate, Wisconsin Review, The Sow’s Ear, Earth’s Daughters, Artvoice, and The Buffalo News. Her first published collection, What We Take With Us was published by Coffeetown Press in 2014. Click here to find Susan online.

Keep reading for an excerpt:

Star Music

On a summer night by the lake,

you can hear the stars singing,

like crickets humming or waves

pulsing under water, with a little

buzz of electricity arcing

between them and your ears,

making you gasp, so surrounded

are you by the sound as you stare

into the foam of the Milky Way,

pitched clear as air after rain,

the luminous turned audible.

 

Listen. Their voices follow you

even into the January dusk,

when stars begin to fall, settle

on window lamps and porch lanterns,

chased by headlights down driveways,

over branches laced with radiance

like forgotten Christmas decorations.

Pianissimo, they murmur beneath

dopplering sirens, pedestrian signals

that chirp away the diminishing seconds,

the music constant through the wind-

blown harmonics of a long lake-effect night.

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