A Nest in the Heart
by Vivienne Popperl
Scheduled Release Date: Apr 15, 2022
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In A Nest in the Heart, Vivienne Popperl conjures the lives of her ancestors to better understand their stories and their influence on her life. The poems will take the reader on a journey through Johannesburg, Europe, and the Willamette Valley of Oregon, as the poet faces the age-old question: “Where do I belong?” Influenced by the poetry of Elizabeth Woody, she explores how the body’s physical landscape intersects and resides within the natural, geographical world.
“In Vivienne Popperl’s luminous book, A Nest in the Heart, she listens for the unknowable stories of her ancestors—refugees from Lithuania, farmers and women doctors in Apartheid South Africa, letters from the dead—to come back to herself. “She kept her nerve,” Popperl says of her mother’s story, “fierce brave heart.” The same could be said for Popperl’s collection. It takes courage to tell the truth of our families, grace to make them shine. “Poems of love/ stitched/ the blue sky” she says of her youth in Johannesburg. Thankfully, throughout A Nest in the Heart, they still do.”
—Claudia F. Saleeby Savage, author of Bruising Continents