Shells in the Sieve
by Nathan Fryback
The Shells in the Sieve are the things of substance in our lives that we keep as we move through growth, change and renewal. Family, sense of self and a deep reverence for the great wheels of the natural world are the solid artifacts found on the shore in these poems. Voiced from the perspective of various, sometimes inanimate entities, the work here seeks to express the power of place amidst constant change and the search for grace in the human endeavor.
About the Author
Nathan Fryback was born in 1972 onto a small farm in the Rogue Valley outside Medford, Oregon. His parents were schoolteachers, his father also felled timber in the summers for extra money. By 1977 Nathan’s family had relocated 270 miles north, to Eugene, Oregon. Nathan developed an interest in creative writing around the age of 13, writing short stories and poetry. During high school he experimented with photography and acting but always found writing as a more reliable means of expressing himself.
At the age of 18, Nathan took a job as a bread baker in Eugene while attending college. That would be a fateful turn as he has dedicated himself to that profession ever since. Even though the world of academia held components of what interested him, he had developed a passion for the craft of artisan bread baking that had to be explored. Mastering the mechanics of grain fermentation had become the Golden Fleece. Nathan withdrew from college to find opportunities to hone his skill, working at several bakeries in Eugene, sometimes holding 2 jobs or moonlighting as a pastry chef.
Eventually moving to Portland, Oregon, in the mid-90s, he spent long stretches at some of the best bakeries on the west coast, where he works to this day, at a little bakery in Northwest Portland. Still very close with his family (his brother and parents all live nearby), he draws from all of them for his sense of self and outlook on life. All the while, writing, writing, writing… Along the way Nathan’s sons were born in 2000 (Beckett) and 2012 (Leroy). They are the fire in his heart. Nathan lives today in Beaverton, Oregon. with his wife Tina and son Leroy.
Early Praise for Shells in the Sieve:
“Nathan Fryback has crafted a collection of unbelievable beauty and loneliness in this his first collection. From things as seemingly mundane as a grocery cart to the fantastic supernatural of the moon and stars, he expertly pulls you in and takes you on a journey of not only his own history and life experience but makes one consider one’s own life in a poignant and sometimes bitter sweetness. A must have for all poetry lovers.”
—Sarah Walker, fiction writer, professor of Anthropology at CSU, San Marcos
“Shells in the Sieve is a breath of fresh poetic imagery, reflections, and captivating thoughts. Exciting and inspiring piece of work. Fryback writes masterfully and in a charismatic manner, the language of poetry.”
—Thomas M. Yeahpau, author of X-Indian Chronicles