Nebraska Center for Writers

Chimney Rock What the Critics Say
About Greg Kuzma

ALL THAT IS NOT GIVEN IS LOST
THE BUFFALO SHOOT
FOR MY BROTHER
GOOD NEWS
MCKEEVER BRIDGE
MOUNTAINS OF THE MOON
SELECTED EARLY POEMS 1958-1983
WHAT POETRY IS ALL ABOUT
WIND RAIN AND STARS AND THE GRASS GROWING




All That Is Not Given Is Lost
Copyright © 2007
by Greg Kuzma
The Backwaters Press

Greg Kuzma's long, slender poems stretch along pages so effortlessly it is like reading one long story of memories, traveling from significant moment to significant moment, occasionally focusing on meaningful objects and glimpsing the silhouettes of characters from the past. — Yu-han Chao



The Buffalo Shoot
Copyright © 1974
by Greg Kuzma
Basilisk

At his best, Kuzma is alert to landscape and rhythms of process, a landbound creature alive with the processes of living. — Sam Hamill, Margins



For My Brother
Copyright © 2009
by Greg Kuzma
Lewis-Clark Press / Sandhills Press

Greg Kuzma's For My Brother was originally published as a limited-edition, fine press book in 1981. That the publisher of Lewis-Clark Press recognizes its continued value, all these years later, is significant; For My Brother persists as Kuzma's best and most innovative, risk-taking work. A highly accomplished and emotional, cohesive piece that remains unparalleled in contemporary poetry, its renewed publication will provide it new and broader readership. Readers should expect this book to be dramatic, particularly because Kuzma thrusts the reader headlong into a montage of grief-primed insight arising from the poet's reflections upon his brother's life and tragic death. Indeed, For My Brother is extremely intimate; it may open old wounds, resurrect old ghosts. Yet, the book is a clear indictment that there is no such thing as private grief; rather, the detriment of grief is that we attempt to hide it and prove ourselves foolish in the effort. In Kuzma's creative vision, grief-awful and awe-inspiring-should be acted upon in the same fervency and intensity as grief itself creates. The result in For My Brother is something spectacular and permanently moving. — Mark Sanders, Stephen F Austin State University



Good News
Copyright © 1994
by Greg Kuzma
Carnegie-Mellon UP

If there is a key poem in [Kuzma's] collection Good News, it is "Advice on Reading the Confessional Poet." Although Kuzma is reacting against the excesses of the confessional poets, the poem also indicates a distaste for autobiography and self-revelation. He does not parade his secrets before the reader; instead he writes poems which are warm, tender, full of good humor, often sensitive, highly crafted with a sheen akin to that of minimal art. — John R Carpenter, Poetry

In titling his book Good News, Greg Kuzma confirms his wish to have the book be "generous and affirmative." But that good, generous affirmative news and wish prove to be part of a larger movement which is not afraid to encounter and embrace things of weight and density of another kind — the floor that cannot be divided up in a parental divorce settlement, a howling in the hills, jealously for secret lives of other we cannot intrude upon except as voyeurs. And it is these complexities of intention which define the book and make it an important one. ... The poems in Good News ... show the poet telling us about himself in ways that are intimate and fabulous at the same time. What Kuzma does not want to do very soon becomes clear. He does not want to make us feel safe. He does not want to confess. He does not want words to sound clever on his tongue. And what he does not want relates strategically to what he wants. He wants to engage us. He wants to witness and to bear witness to. He wants to recreate, rediscover, and rewrite — to reuse possible words for flower and woman, say "nasturtium" and "wife." ... Kuzma's poetry is fresh, sexual, and confident. — Arthur Oberg, Shenandoah



McKeever Bridge
Copyright © 2002
by Greg Kuzma
Sandhills P

Greg Kuzma has long been one of our most widely published poets. ... McKeever Bridge recollects two very significant collections from the late 1970s, early 1980s — A Problem of High Water and Adirondacks — as well as brings in additional, previously uncollected poems. These poems, dark as they are, find Kuzma at his most consistent, certainly his most haunting, his most reflective, and he's most at home inside his very personal discomfort. ... He makes a journey through the darkness, over the edge of the woods, into the dark water to find he can weather it all and return. This is Kuzma at his highest, brightest, most sensitive point of poetic creativity — an indispensable collection. — from the jacket



Mountains of the Moon
Copyright © 2012
by Greg Kuzma
Stephen F Austin University Press

Greg Kuzma's Mountains of the Moon is the second selection from his longer poems. The first, All That is Not Given is Lost, was published in 2007 by Backwaters Press. A third volume is in preparation. Kuzma's gift is his ability to slip deeply into the territories of human soul, where he teaches us to endure against loss, to ascend from despair, and to celebrate how beautiful imperfect lives may be. — from the publisher



Selected Early Poems 1958-1983
Copyright © 2010
by Greg Kuzma
Carnegie-Mellon University Press

Greg Kuzma's recent poems are long, narrative, pyschological and metaphoric, and have been appearing in magazines and collections for the past two decades. This selection includes the best of the lyric poems which characterized the beginning of his career in poetry.

Kuzma does not parade his secrets before the reader; instead, he writes poems which are warm, tender, full of good humor, often sensitive, highly crafted with a sheen akin to that of minimal art. — John R. Carpenter, Poetry

What Kuzma does not want to do soon becomes clear. He does not want to make us feel safe. He does not want to confess. He does not want words to sound clever on his tongue. And what he does not want relates strategically to what he wants. He wants to engage us. He wants to witness and to bear witness to. He wants to recreate, rediscover, and rewrite--to reuse possible words for flower and woman, say "nasturtium" and "wife." Kuzma's poetry is fresh, sexual, and confident. — Arthur Oberg, Shenandoah

At his best, Kuzma is alert to landscape and rhythms of process, a landbound creature alive with the processes of living. — Sam Hamill, Margins



What Poetry is All About
Copyright © 1998
by Greg Kuzma
Blue Scarab Press

This collection of essays by nationally known poet, Greg Kuzma, is an insider's look at the 'poetry biz' in America. Tongue-in-cheek, irreverent, wacky and zany, while at the same time utterly serious in overall intent, these thirty-plus rants, diatribes, pseudo-scholarly studies, off-the-wall lists, fall-on-the-floor funny and no-holds barred coffee-fueled confessions are anything but a 'how-to' book for budding poets. Rather they are midnight conversations in a smoke-filled room about why poetry is written, who writes it for what audience and with what desperate and deluded aspirations. A 'must' for those who labor in the service of 'The Muse.' — from the publisher



Wind Rain and Stars
and the Grass Growing
Copyright © 1993
by Greg Kuzma
Orchises P

Greg Kuzma's poems are blunt and sometimes rude. The surprise of their ideas and images — with pain as close as it is to comedy — often causes abrupt, uncomfortable laughter. In "The Practical Necessities of Kingship," a kingdom is destroyed by its ruler because of its imperfections, leaving the king to bow to the will of his realm only after he has done away with them all. In "Grandmother," a woman's disastrous edging toward the end of her life culminates in having to live with her sister, "snarling over their chicken wings." But these magnificent counterpoints, mistakes, and quibbling are as much a part of life as clouds, hills, and daffodils. — Independent Presses, Editor's Recommended Book, 12/15/97




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