Wooden Nutmegs

By: Russell Rowland

In Wooden Nutmegs, Russell Rowland describes a dark world that “looks to belong to ogres,” but where the Holy Spirit messes everyone’s hair as if to say, Lighten up, it’s okay. These beautifully wrought poems speak to the existential angst that unites us. Familiar with Rowland’s other work, I know him to be an honest guide through the rough terrain of faith and the unknown.”

-Nancy Scott, author of One Stands Guard, One Sleeps; managing editor of U.S. 1 Worksheets


Many readers will praise Russell Rowland’s poems for their sensuous, embodied language; others their sometimes dark, sometimes humorous, always compassionate spiritual concerns; still others this collection’s authentic, lived sense of New Hampshire’s particular geography, ecology, and social life. But what I notice and admire most is a deep engagement with the nature of time in its many manifestations. The “time” in these poems is personal, seasonal, historical, geological, and even astronomical. Readers will be rewarded with artful reminders of both time’s ferocity and its mercies.

—Liz Ahl, author of Beating the Bounds, A Thirst That’s Partly Mine, and Home Economics

“Yankee peddler” Russell Rowland grew up in Connecticut, and now peddles his poetic wooden nutmegs in New Hampshire. An ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, he served churches in both states. In retirement, he is a trail volunteer for the Lakes Region Conservation Trust, a judge of local Poetry Out Loud competitions, and an infatuated father and grandfather.

Rowland’s poetry has appeared in over a hundred small journals, two chapbooks, a previous full-length collection, We’re All Home Now, from Beech River Books, and the Encircle Publications anthology, Except for Love: New England Poets Inspired by Donald Hall. He has received seven Pushcart Prize nominations.


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