Tonight’s Quiet

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Constance Norgren

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In Constance Norgren’s collection TONIGHT’S QUIET, worries go hand in hand with good luck, everyday amazement with misfortune, shadows and the encroaching darkness with next day’s sunlight. Here we are, “the carriers of things / with gravity pushing or pulling,” washing cars, waiting in lines, alone by the lit Christmas tree, crossing crowded streets to get to work, looking out of windows—human beings engaged in the small, important activities that become their lives. Here there is safety in darkness, knowledge to be gained in a lake’s center at midnight, the death of parents, children who must grow and go. What is constant is each other. “Today, on the boardwalk the old ones bundled in coats sit. / Four people walk on the beach next to the waves lapping. / More, all the time.”


Constance Norgren became a passionate reader of poems as a teenager and began writing them in her thirties. She was a teacher of young children for three decades at PS 321 in Brooklyn. In 2005, she completed an MFA in Poetry at Brooklyn College. She is the author of the chapbooks Falling Again (2012), published by Finishing Line Press and Same Boat (2008), published by 5 Spice Press. Norgren coauthored the book To Genesis in 2004 (with Lois Adams, Barbara Elovic, and Patricia Markert), a collection of Midrash poems also from 5 Spice Press. Her poems have been published in a variety of journals and in Bigger Than They Appear: Anthology of Very Short Poems from Accents Publishing. “Photograph-Gaylani, Baghdad” won first prize in the 2011 Annual Split This Rock Poetry Contest. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, Tom Keough, a graphic artist and landscape painter. TONIGHT’S QUIET was selected by Alfred Corn as winner of the Bright Hill Poetry Book Competition.


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