By John A Nieves

Curio, by John A. Nieves

ISBN 9781932418514 $17

CURIO by John Nieves is the winner of the 13th Annual Elixir Press Poetry Award.

"To enter the world of CURIO, John Nieves' compelling poetic debut, is to enter a world shaped by a curious and ravenous intellect, a world where 'Morning/ is the cold, rigid face of a coin, shining/ in spite of all those dirty thumbs.' It's a space of copious gathering—one that shares in the rich tradition of the Cabinet of Wonders where collections of memory, history, and language are pondered for their exquisite, revelatory nature, never losing their luster, but invoking, instead renewable facets of awe and inspiration. For Nieves, these wonders may include quite ordinary items. In 'Hasp,' for instance, Nieves considers the 'armies/of relics created solely to open/things that no longer exist,' and finds that in a world where no 'wrist need twist/as codes are punched,' old technologies, in the form of 'diaries, doors, drawers,' are 'the only real zodiac.'"—Jane Satterfield