WINNER OF THE THREE MILE HARBOR POETRY PRIZE: PRAISE FOR NATHANIEL BEK’S ATROPHY…
“In his collection, Atrophy of the Boy Who Became a Wishing Well, Nathaniel C. Bek writes milk, blood, dirt, and earth back into poems. This is not a collection of city-slick wit and flirtation; these poems are pastoral and haunted by family dysfunction, premature rite of passage, and the struggle to survive life’s unrelenting tragedies. Though deeply confessional, Bek provokes the reader asking, “Can you be more than violence/ More than abuse/ More than a weapon” and instead “make scrapes and scars a love letter to the living?” The answers to these questions are critical for our times, our relationships, and our healing.” – Tamara J. Madison, author of Threed, This Road Not Damascus (Trio House Press)
“Atrophy of the Boy Who Became A Wishing Well is a beautiful collection that explores masculinity and the costs of trying to meet its expectations, the freedom in ignoring them.” – J. Bradley, Best Small Fictions 2019 Winner
“NCBEK’s poems are grown out of dirt and grass, a rural universe that uncovers the bones under the wheat fields and makes them walk again. The cyclical tragedy of generational curses, violent masculinity, and regret set against the mislead-ingly peaceful bucolia. Here, everything must kill to eat, even a VCR and especially the past. But there is still love and hope, a “dance floor of pain” to be found in the stillness. “There is iron in the soil here,” NCBEK says in “Body of Water,” and so it is with these poems- bad things happened and are still happening and it’s as if he is asking what will grow from what was lost. Plenty, say these poems.”- TC, Song Writer.
Publication Date: June 2021
Trade paperback: 7 x10