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Click here for a review by Jayne Marek at Cider Press Review

Click here for a review by Kathy Nelson at Valparaiso Review

Click here for a review by Erica Goss at Sticks & Stones

Click here for a review by Jacob Butlett at Harbor Review

GOOD NEWS: Horse Not Zebra received Honorable Mention in the North

Carolina Poetry Society's Brockman-Campbell Book Award competition for

books published in 2022. Here are the judge's comments: 


"Whether having at the center of the narrative or as subject of reflection a bear,

a dog, an old couple, a campfire, or a bar of soap, these poems unfold with such

conversational elegance, wit, self-deprecating humor, and tenderness, it’s hard

not to fall in love with them.  I admire Nelson’s memorable approaches to

human fallibility and vulnerability, the delight and craft with which he honors

the ordinary, the intimate sense of place he creates with a few brushstrokes, the

warmth of his tonal inflections."   Mihaela Moscaliuc, Judge

MORE GOOD NEWS: Horse Not Zebra received two awards in the 2023

Eric Hoffer Book Awards competition. It won the da Vinci Eye Award

for outstanding cover art and design, and it received Honorable

Mention in the Poetry category. 

The cover art of Horse Not Zebra features the amazing painting

"Shake the yellow leaves from the bough of your heart" by

Laura Berendsen Hughes, cover design by Diane Lockward

of Terrapin Books.

Horse Not Zebra is available from indie bookstores such as Malaprop's in

Asheville, NC, and from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Terrapin Books.

   Horse Not Zebra

  When med students are learning

  how to diagnose symptoms, they’re told

  think horse, not zebra—the common, not the exotic.

  Which is good advice even if you’re not a doctor. 

  Like when your phone rings at 3:00 in the morning,

  think wrong number, not who died?

  Or if your love is over an hour late

  for dinner and hasn’t called to explain, think

  gridlock, not head-on; dead zone, not dead.

  When the guy in the truck doesn’t slow down

  much less stop when you step into the crosswalk,

  think distracted, not son-of-a-bitch. Recall the time

  your mind was still at work, how shocked you were

  to see in your rear-view a woman in the crosswalk

  flipping you off with both hands.

  And if you’re steaming in a mile long back-up

  because protesters have blocked the bridge again,

  don’t think where are the damn cops

  when you need them, think how,

  when popping sounds wake you at night,

  you think firecracker, not gun.


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