Love in the City of Grudges

92 Pages, FootHills Publishing
Illustration by Carol Zaloom
Buy Now Button

Love in the City of Grudges

Poems by Will Nixon

Called “a poetic coming of age story” with “a novel’s sweep embodying mythic depths and heights,” this collection ranges from tales about a childhood swimming hole to college misadventures in the California desert to a snowbound holiday with a Jewish girlfriend who wanted to crown her first Christmas tree with a black bra. There are stories of gentrifying Hoboken in the 1980s, plus a recasting of the poet’s family as zombies from Night of the Living Dead.

Praise For Love in the City of Grudges

Love in the City of Grudges is a poetic coming of age story that could just as easily have been called Family Life. The characters are familiar Dad, the unrepentant Dick Nixonite, Mom, a closet vermouth swilling alcoholic, the physically and emotional inert brother, and the hippie poet acting as narrator who has somehow found himself ensconced in Hoboken, New Jersey. Even the cast of the film classic Night of the Living Dead is an odd part of the extended family. Nixon’s book is a rare combination of wit, horror, and insight that is at once amusing and emotionally satisfying.”
–Alan Catlin, Near Death in the Afternoon on Becker Street

“If zombies take over the open mic scene all across America, we now know what poems they will be reading: Will Nixon’s heart-rending, gut-splitting send ups of his family, life, and country people, ‘terrifying us by being so ordinary,’ as horror show. From the first poem, ‘Saying Cheese, 1960,’ Nixon has an uncanny power to reanimate the past, climaxing in the final section, ‘I Feed Her My Heart She Never Stops Eating,’ in which the American family romance morphs into Night of the Living Dead.”
–Barbara Louise Ungar, The Origin of the Milky Way

“Sparkling, shrewd accounts of a spell on earth by a verse diarist, Love in the City of Grudges is a history of our ordinarily harrowing lives dialed up to an exquisite poignance by Will Nixon’s gifts of observation. We’re embarrassed to smile, but page after page we do, proving we’re not exactly of this place either.”
–Djelloul Marbrook, Far From Algiers

“If one can imagine a book of poetry that is autobiographical but of a novel’s sweep embodying mythic depths and heights, then Will Nixon’s Love in the City of Grudges is such a book. The poet’s voice journeying through these poems conjures up a WASP Odysseus from Connecticut sailing into America’s nightmare hinterlands of the American Dream. This reader both cried and laughed out loud while being swept along by Nixon’s heroic, ironic, bittersweet, sexy elegance of language. Keeping in mind ‘In the Time of the Gipper’s’ final lines, I say that Will Nixon’s honesty has resurrected the country that so many of us want to know: Love refusing to be poisoned and stolen forever by ‘the City of Grudges.'”
–Susan Deer Cloud, The Last Ceremony

“‘My body tingled as if trying to grow feathers. / Letting go, I grabbed at clouds…’ So Will Nixon introduces his picaresque ‘irony-addicted’ hero. Recasting his family as zombies, he yearns after ‘elfin-booted’ blondes in ‘hip-hugging red.’ Ultimately, he finds love, struggles with loss: ‘Once we read Yeats in bed / now we never stay home.’ An affecting verse memoir.”