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ISBN 978-0-9911878-2-9


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Desire to Stay | Audrey Naffziger

In Desire to Stay, Audrey Naffziger's first full-length book of poems, "The dead…know where you live…they crawl in closer than a cat and will not be nursed away." Rather than drowning, Ophelia is "buoyed...toward a new light...." The alcoholic father lives in both the present and the past, since, as Einstein reminds us "the separation between past, present, and future is only an illusion." But what does it mean to care for those with one foot in this world and one in the next? It means loving as hard as one can. It means recognizing that one's fate may be determined by how well we care for those we are meant to become. Desire to Stay reveals our deepest yearning to live fully and without regret, something none of us has yet learned how to do, entirely. It's in the details of others' lives revealed that we find our truer selves. Jane Ann Devol-Fuller, Editor


Advance Praise

In the least anticipated of moments, Audrey Naffziger discovers the connection between those we love and who we are. It is an understanding filled of necessity with longing and regret, yet always there is a sense of being truly amazed at having come to a place where knowing the end only makes the beginning "all the more brilliant." That brilliance comes to us through some of life's most insignificant moments—walking the dog, catching the reflection of ourselves in a mirror, dropping a pepper shaker—and yet, we experience each of these moments with such clarity we cannot help but sense the urgency of their telling. Where but in our most cherished memories might we discover a history so personal, a world where "everything you ever wanted would be more than you could possibly bear?" Desire to Stay is a record of such moments, of the memories that best define who we are, each carved from the stone past and set to a rhythm measured only by the flight of birds. James Riley

Audrey Naffziger tells us in Desire to Stay, "The dead, however, know where you live." But her poems reach for more than Story; they want to get at the heart of how and why we find reason to feel connected. Placed. In her words, "somewhere along the way you remembered what mattered." This bold voice asks about the rootedness in others and the world, though never in a speech weighted with self-importance: "What will that child do / When no one is watching, / Now that his father is home, / Now that his mother is singing again?" In this book, the Superman dies and is redeemed on "a new planet, a new way of reckoning." When Naffziger says "The Tooth Fairy is an artist who lives on a mountain in a country / you never studied in geography," we wonder where, and why, we mislaid that map. If she says "This love, this place we call home," it is to remind us of the glorious marriage of the two, the spiritual inseparability of heart and home. In Desire to Stay, we sit on the wing of Amelia Earhart's plane, knowing there are those who fly and more than one means of conveyance. Roy Bentley



AUDREY NAFFZIGER has published three chapbooks, including Intervals (Pikeville Press), Close to Home (Spoon River Quarterly), and an untitled chapbook--length collection of poems for Crazy River. She co-authored a book of poems, Revenants: A Story of Many Lives, with Jane Ann Devol-Fuller, which was awarded a Special Projects Grant by the Ohio Arts Council. She edited Riverwind Literary Magazine for seventeen years, and since 1984 has been teaching writing at Hocking College in Nelsonville, Ohio. In 1989, Naffziger was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to teach Creative Writing at Kendal College, in Kendal, England. More recently, Naffziger co-founded the Hocking-ATCO Writers' Collaborative, a project in which she partnered Hocking College creative writing students with adults with disabilities to write poems, prose, and song lyrics. In 2005 and 2007 she collaborated with the Athens County Board of Developmental Disabilities, area musicians, and local music producer, Bruce Dalzell, on a 2-CD collection of music based on writings from the Writers' Collaborative.