Velocity time travels through memory and conjecture, yet Krygowski’s poems–often sad, sometimes humorous, always generous–return us continually to the beautiful and difficult here-and-now. Lovingly grounded in the ordinary, these are thinking poems–tightly crafted, accessible inquiries more interested in exploring stark and complicated knowledge than in proclaiming it. The poems, which use a sister’s death as a touchstone, dwell in the overlap of emotions. Loss touches happiness, desire touches fear, love touches futile knowing. Krygowski’s unstoppable energy for seeking and revealing disparate thoughts and emotions makes the collection wholly human. This fresh, surprising voice speaks for the intelligent heart in each of us.
Deceptively plainspoken, Nancy Krygowski arrives as one of the most high-spirited, uncompromising, and compelling voices we've heard in a long time. In poems that range across all subjects—from Vaseline to galaxies, new panties to doom—this poet's sensibility gives music to it all. Velocity is all the things its title suggests—fast and forceful—but you will return to these poems again and again for the surprising, careful things they have to say about this world and ourselves in it.
Poignant may be too clean a word for the fierce grace and honesty of Nancy Krygowski's Velocity. In elegies and meditations on the textures of loss, love and daily-hood, she writes poems of unpretentious risk and mystery. A line like: 'See I'm alive. Tell me I'm alive.' reflects her gift for balancing question and assertion; wonder and recognition in the same lyrical breath. This is a debut of uncommon maturity and depth.
Most impressive is the way in which Krygowski evokes life's complexity and hard lessons. . . . In 'Velocity', a poet facing harsh realities proves wonderfully articulate.
In a literary atmosphere where poetry book prizes proliferate and mediocrity dominates, Krygowsi's first volume . . . is a a delight—which does not mean it's easy, or even pleasurable, to read. Instead, this is superbly crafted tragedy that stops short of melodrama or self-pity.
Hauntingly gorgeous. Go order this book now. Here's a poet for whom craft and voice come together in powerful and stunning ways. . . . A book of urgency by a poet who is serious, searching, and hauntingly honest and loving about the world.
A beautiful, unpretentious collection of deeply felt and finely made poems. . . .They feel less made than felt, and have a spontaneous sincerity and singularity—not of style, but of point-of-view—that is amazingly rare in contemporary poetry.
Reading ['Velocity'] feels like holding a life-vest, fashioned from a dailyness whose depth and beauty we might not see without this poet's salvaging eye. Read them aloud; your mouth will thank you.
Nancy Krygowski is an adult literacy instructor and codirector of the Gist Street Reading Series. Her poems have appeared in Prairie Schooner, River Styx, Southern Poetry Review, 5 A.M., and other magazines. She is the recipient of a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Individual Artist Grant and awards from the Academy of American Poets and the Association of Writers & Writing Programs.learn more