I am absolutely amazed that this book doesn't have somewhere in the neighborhood of six hundred five-star ratings. I read a LOT of contemporary poetry and honestly, I'm a pretty tough critic. I came to this book with little or no prior knowledge of Minnick's stuff, except that a friend suggested I check it out. I was maybe five poems in when I stopped...not because I didn't love what I was reading, but because I'd been thoroughly blindsided by just how good these poems are.
— Michael Meyerhofer
The poems in Folly are marked with honesty, deadpan humor, disarming self-disclosure. Add in Minnick’s eye for the absurd in daily life, and the combination can be not only readable, entertaining, and insightful, but in poems such as “Country Mark” and “Rilke,” memorable.
— Annie Finch
There is a rare quiet and seriousness here. He is teaching his daughter that God is in everything. He is always looking out, and some dark thing hovers just at the edge of the page. To Taste the Water is a lovely first book.
— Robert Bly
Norman Minnick’s poems take as their task the plumbing of 'unfathomable depths'—not through theoretical pyrotechnics but through deep attention to the image, the moment, the life lived. This first book radiates calm intelligence and uncommon wisdom.
— Campbell McGrath
Here are poems from a new generation of writers who honor the magnetic fields of the real; who feel and think with full and open-eyed passion; who focus heat as the magnifying glass focuses sun: until the paper catches. Read them.
— Jane Hirshfield
I’m impressed by these voices, voices of anxiety, of pain but also of patience and understanding. From angry prayers to prayers of disbelief, a whole gamut of letters to the invisible is present here. Younger poets are not asleep, they have been placed on alert. By who? By poetry itself, I guess.
— Adam Zagajewski
Edited and with an introduction by Norman Minnick.
From the Introduction:
As a poet with a particular fondness for the Romantics – Keats, Shelley, Byron, Wordsworth, Goethe, Hölderlin, Novalis, et al. – I knew a little Blake, but always found him difficult to comprehend. I tried to learn from academics such as Northrop Frye and Harold Bloom, but they were not speaking the same language as I. Robert Bly’s News of the Universe provided a great introduction, but it wasn’t until I saw in person some of Blake’s prints and drawings from the Book of Job at the Indianapolis Museum of Art and in that same gallery attended what was supposed to be a lecture on Blake by Dr. James T. Watt, Allegra Stewart Professor of English at Butler University, that I was inspired to jump in, to begin with Blake. It wasn’t long before Watt had everyone in attendance standing and singing verses of Blake!
Advice for a Young Poet (WordTech Communications, Cincinnati, OH, 2020)
Folly (Wind Publications, Nicholasville, KY, 2013)
Between Water & Song: New Poets for the Twenty-First Century (White Pine Press, 2009)
Bursting with humor, full of irreverence, Norman Minnick’s poems in Advice for a Young Poet are deft and well-earned, and they remind us that the stuff of poetry is also found in the “jaundiced regions of the psyche.”
— Abayomi Animashaun
Norman Minnick surveys the landscape of contemporary America—and its poetry—with wry humor and a cynical, trenchant eye. In this collection, Minnick quietly (sometimes even tenderly) reminds his readers that poems can help us answer what it means to be human and that there are some questions before which even poetry can only bend its knee.
— Katharine Rauk