Nebraska Center for Writers

Chimney Rock What the Critics Say
About Greg Kosmicki


Copyright © 1999
by Greg Kosmicki
Sandhills Press

Through this book of poetry Kosmicki reveals his soul's yearnings toward his son. As a father who dedicates himself to embracing his son, he strengthens the bond that exists between them. He also realizes that being a father means he has to let go enough to allow the boy to become his own man. — Patricia Troutman, Nebraska Territory

Copyright © 2007
by Greg Kosmicki and Mary K Stillwell (Eds)
Backwaters Press

Poems by more than 80 contemporary Nebraska poets, including Pulitzer Prize winner and former Poet Laureate of the United States, Ted Kooser, Nebraska State Poet William Kloefkorn, several poets who have had their poems read on Garrison Keillor's Writer's Almanac including Greg Kuzma, Marjorie Saiser, Twyla Hansen, Grace Bauer, and Greg Kosmicki, as well as widely noted poets Hilda Raz, Roy Scheele, Steve Langan, and many others.

New Path in the Dream
Copyright © 2010
by Greg Kosmicki
Pudding House Publications
... wise and sad and compelling. — Tom Montag, The Middlewesterner

Copyright © 1998
by Greg Kosmicki
Missing Spoke Press

United Parcel in these poems is a capitalist Gulag, and Kosmicki its resident alien. Written on packages and routing slips, written on the wind, Greg's poems steal time from the daily exile and solitary confinement of his job. Always the fear lives in him, that he will become too tired to care, too blind to see. ... Two desperations, then, inform these poems. The panic to fulfill one's duties, to keep to the murderous schedule — bringing the paycheck home, and that other desperation — not to die as a poet. To heed the small things, little birds in the road — crushed against the windshield, prairie dogs along the route, not yet poisoned by efficient ranchers. ... Even the smallest poems here resonate within the matrix — Greg's son Mark off on his first unassisted bike ride — trying to find that difficult balance — while his father reflects on his own struggles. ... In form various, but always urgent — as if not written at all but spoken — made furious by the headlong rush of the road, these poems startle and amaze. — Greg Kuzma

Thanks for the book. A hell of a lot of good stuff there, truly — strong and recognizable and full of right feeling. It'd be a pleasure to read it in any case, but it's doubly so alongside the deluge of bullshit that inundates me day in and day out. Keep up the good work. — Hayden Carruth

Kosmicki takes the ordinary, small things in life (wildlife, gardening, and tumbleweeds) and transforms them into something magical, even electric. — Bruce R Nelson, Grassroots

Greg Kosmicki tells it like it is. All but the luckiest among us are forced to toil at jobs that kill our creativity and hope. That the heart of this poet survived to share his thoughts with readers is a gift. — Laurel Johnson, Midwest Book Review

This collection of poems by Omaha-based Greg Kosmicki reflects a brilliance that can only be captured by a man who chooses to record those occurrences in life that most people would catalogue as "everyday." Within these poems about work and working, family and living are pieces of wisdom Kosmicki has picked up through his routes as a driver for UPS and through his life experiences as father, husband, son and brother. —

The Patron Saint of the Lost and Found
Copyright © 2003
by Greg Kosmicki
Lone Willow Press

The Patron Saint of the Lost and Found is Greg Kosmicki's latest chapbook, exploring lost and found relationships, entities, and items. ... Readers connect with his poetry as it is relaxed, based in Nebraska ways. We recognize the familiar ways in Kosmicki's poetry and are led to a new understanding of their significance. — Gerry Cox, The NCB News

Copyright © 2006
by Greg Kosmicki
Word Press

Beneath the jaunty surface of the poems in Greg Kosmicki's Some Hero of the Past are the tales of survivors of the everyday. The inhabitants of Kosmicki's poems struggle and persevere, celebrate and mourn, and live to tell the tale again. These are the most essential kind of heroes. — from the publisher

In this new collection, Greg Kosmicki meanders through remnants of a passionate life as if on a quest at a jumble sale. Never fooled by global hype, he rescues what has been junked or refurbished, holding up to the light what has no price. In this day of hotmail and blogs, Kosmicki is a poet of wily humility–worthy guide to what is soulful and American. — CarolAnn Russell

A Kosmicki poem is often nocturnal, although you wouldn't exactly call it a nocturne. It makes you feel aware and in the moment as you sit up late at night, reading poems, listening to the voices in your house, hearing them call to you, "Are you coming to bed yet?" And so you lie and say, "Just a minute, just as soon as I am finished reading this Kosmicki poem." You pretend it's some kind of obligation, but really you want to stay up, because when you read a Kosmicki poem you are so completely in the present that you almost feel you are with him as he composes, watching the words wind their way down the page, listening to the wind and traffic and "the crickets outside keeping up their / solitary notes in unison / with all the other creatures making /nighttime noise." And, sure, maybe you dread going into work tomorrow. Maybe you feel foolish to stay up this late with nothing more than a poem as an excuse, but at least you know are in good company. And so you stay up a little while more, because a Kosmicki poem often inspires you to step outside and listen to the most distant sound you can, which you would if that damned cricket would just shut up! But then you ease up. You remember that the Kosmicki poem would never damn the cricket, and its humble instruction stays with you. Sometimes you wonder how the Kosmicki poem manages to keep its good humor, its generosity of spirit. In recent years, in our sad country, the native habitat of the Kosmicki poem has been reduced just to "a strip of dirt / between a concrete street and an asphalt/ parking lot." Nevertheless, it offers to share what remains. — Ron Block

You've seen them — the pitchers who are all wind-up and no pitch. And perhaps you've seen the other ones, those who take all day to wind-up and who can throw too. I think of Warren Spahn — it was a long time before he got his arms and legs all unfolded and the ball released, and when he did it would be quite a pitch.
Greg Kosmicki writes that way. He is the Warren Spahn of poets. He's never in a hurry to get the point of the poem out there, and when he does it's worth waiting for. These are not "talky" poems, these poems in his recent collection, Some Hero of the Past,* but neither is there the urgency and compression you come to expect in poetry. Kosmicki lets the poem take its own good time. Folks who get scared off poetry because it slaps them up right off will appreciate Kosmicki's manner. He lulls you into the poem. Usually I don't have much time for poetry that isn't strung tight, but Kosmicki's poems convince me otherwise: the going itself, the journey to the point, is part of the point in his poems. These loose-limbed lines couldn't be more different from the kind I write, yet I am enchanted. Tom Montag, The Middlewesterner (

I have read the book with real pleasure. It is good to see you still working with the same smirking objectivity that attracted me to your poems in the beginning. "Christmas Day, 2002" is a very superior poem, a stand-out and a terrifically moving structure of language. And so are a good number of other poems. Keep it up. — Hayden Carruth

Times of Sorrow/Times of Grace
Copyright © 2002
by Marjorie Saiser, Greg Kosmicki, and Lisa Sandlin (eds)
Backwaters Press

Times of Sorrow/Times of Grace is a collection of poetry, fiction, and memoir by women writers from the Great Plains/High Plains region of the US, including such notes authors and poets as Jonis Agee, Marilyn Krysl, Judith Minty, Mary Pipher, Hilda Raz, CarolAnn Russel, Judith Sornberger, Laurel Speer, Gladys Swan, and SL Wisenberg. — from the jacket

From the visually stunning cover to the black and white wildflower drawings and eye pleasing font, this anthology is a keeper. It is a map of secret journeys to be shared, read and reread. — Midwest Book Review

We Have Always Been
Coming to This Morning
Copyright © 2002
by Greg Kosmicki
Lewis-Clark Press / Sandhills Press, 2007

Poet and editor David Ray has this praise for Greg Kosmicki's We Have Always Been Coming to This Morning: In these poems Greg Kosmicki shares his life without the masks most poets wear these days. He can make us feel that nothing could be more fascinating than living in a Nebraska town and observing and experiencing realities others don't even notice, finding Inscape in what they overlook. And what riches they do overlook, as if leaving them for Greg to shine up or render with great compassion, as in "Social Work." Sinclair Lewis achieved a comparable artistry, but his view was soured and he couldn't wait to escape. Kosmicki sticks around and makes magic out of the hassles and quiet joys, making us wish that we observed half of our own hassles and perplexities with such clarity." Robert Bly writes that "Greg Kosmicki is an honest writer, writing at one of the worst times of our nation. He doesn't whine or feel pity for himself, but he doesn't pull back either from describing the grief he sees all around him in our half-mad country," and Hayden Carruth says, "Surely the most abused word is reality. It means almost nothing now. If you would reacquaint yourself with it, in all its glorious pain and miserable joy, read Greg Kosmicki's splendidly candid and powerful poems." Kosmicki's is a rare and intensely passionate voice; the poems are consistently forceful, surprising, and new — the way poetry should be. — from the publisher

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