Norman Minnick

Norman Minnick (Poetry) | Indianapolis, IN

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Norman “Buzz” Minnick came of age in the 1980’s punk scene of Louisville, Kentucky and was the front man for the influential hardcore band, Bush League. His previous collections of poetry are To Taste the Water (winner of the First Series Award from Mid-List Press) and Folly (Wind Publications). Minnick is the editor of Between Water and Song: New Poets for the Twenty-First Century (White Pine Press) as well as Jim Watt’s landmark study of William Blake, Work Toward Knowing: Beginning with Blake (Kinchafoonee Creek Press).

Minnick is quickly garnering a reputation for my memorable readings and has been a featured reader at Poets House (New York), KGB Bar Monday Night Poetry Series (New York), Robert Bly’s Great Mother Conference (Maine), RopeWalk (Indiana), Block Island Poetry Project (Rhode Island), Holler Poetry Series (Kentucky), Butterfly Lightning Reading Series (Florida), as well as various universities and book festivals in Indiana, Kentucky, Florida, Washington, Colorado, California, Georgia, and Minnesota.


Folly (Wind Publications, 2013). Poetry.
Between Water and Song: New Poets for the Twenty-First Century (White Pine Press, 2010). Editor. Poetry. Anthology.
To Taste the Water (Mid-List Press, 2007). First Series Award. Poetry.

Blurbs, Press & Reviews

“[Minnick’s poetry] says everything the collected works of Freud do but in so much less space and so beautifully. Using sharp-edged images with dazzling deftness, Minnick reminds us that there are terrors in the shadows and that kids of all ages are glad they’re there.”
—David Kirby

“Minnick’s search for identity is tinged with a sort of sad playfulness and poignancy. Just when the reader fears the poems will become predictable, he plays with the syntax, strengthening their mystery and power. He has been able to weave his no-nonsense Midwestern-ness with colorful Miami imagery.”
—Denise Duhamel

“Norman Minnick is securing his place in contemporary American poetry.”
The Southeast Review

To Taste the Water

“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

To Taste the Water is real poetry, the kind that as Emily Dickinson put it, cracks your skull open and makes it fall on your shoulders. How fine and how life giving, in contrast to so much lousy prose, uninspiring, that has passed as poetry for decades now. His work is even finer than Bly and Levertov’s, to whom he pays homage in the title of his book. He deals with ancient truths in lyrical, concrete ways. Bless him… he will last.”
—Emanuel di Pasquale, Poetry Editor, Chelsea

To Taste the Water is a joyous book of poetry, written in time with the hushed moment and from the vision of a calm eye. Minnick’s poems are about love and beauty, yes, but they are also about something stranger, that force which resonates inside the suspended image. These poems ring the small bell of grace if only to realize how mysterious and everywhere it is—and that sounds like another bell.”
—Maurice Manning

“‘Seek not, a voice says,’ and as if in wry answer to that dictum to the self, Norman Minnick gives us these deeply interior poems that nevertheless closely and richly attend to leaf and child, love and work, spoon and weather, how to see and how to listen. Somewhere in this book is ‘the cloud’s lament,’ the ‘ripe agony of trees.’ But savor the quiet too, as you turn each page.”
—Marianne Boruch

“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

“These poems truly are led by a skilled dream-dancer, never muscled into shape. This collection highlights the arrival of a wonderful new poet, and is truly worth reading.”
Sycamore Review


“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

“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

“Norman Minnick should be a national phenomenon! This poetry book is among the best I’ve ever read—it balances our anxiety of mortality with humor. He explores contrastive subject relationships, such as historic and modern, maturity and immaturity, and family and independence––all while melding them together into a collection seamlessly.”
—Daniel Lassell

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