Winner of the 2002 Robert Phillips Poetry Chapbook Prize
About the Author
A native New Yorker, NANCY NAOMI CARLSON’s full-length collection of poetry, Kings Highway, won the 1997 Writers’ Publishing House competition. She also was a winner of The Ledge 2002 Poetry Awards competition. Featured on Poetry Daily, her work has also appeared in Poet Lore, Poetry, Prairie Schooner, Shenandoah, Southern Humanities Review, Southern Poetry Review, Texas Review, and elsewhere. She is an editor for Tupelo Press and runs a community writers’ group at Barnes and Noble.
"Is Nancy Naomi Carlson a prophetess or goddess? One ponders this question while reading Complications of the Heart. What will encourage the reader to genuflect is the range of her work as well as the mixture of passion and intellect. Carlson's poems at times can be caught wearing lace. Maybe this is the formalism clinging to the hem of her muse. There is balance in this collection because Carlson once wore cigar bands and pop-top rings." —E. Ethelbert Miller
"Like a sonogram that sifts 'through layers of tissue and bone' to explore the flawed heart of an unborn child, the poems in this brilliant collection by Nancy Naomi Carlson give us 'different views—cross-sectional maps' of the complicated human hearty with its 'twitching desires' and trace the choices we make to negotiate our way through that difficult terrain. Carlson's language is gracefully seductive as she guides us to destinations exotic and erotic. With its deft formal control, immense charm and wisdom, Complications of the Heart is that rarity: a work that yields greater delight with each rereading." —Richard Foerster, Final Judge
"Offering up sensuous language, which is sometimes memorably formal and always musical, Nancy Naomi Carlson manages an eerie, provocative blend of poems about the different bodies of love a woman may inhabit. When she writes in 'Sari-Covered Nights' that 'My five mouths roll their uvulas, / guttural as high winds crossing desert dunes,' she speaks not only of the multiple lives we must recognize in ourselves, but also of the poet's need and obligation to render many possibilities at once." —Stephen Corey