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Nonnie Augustine’s first collection of poems, One Day Tells its Tale to Another was chosen by Kirkus Review as one of the "Best of Indie 2013."
To See Who's There is new and was published on August 23, 2017.  During former lives she was a professional dancer with a B.F.A. from The Juilliard School and later a teacher for children with emotional disturbances and learning disabilities in Florida, Maryland and Washington, D.C. She shares her home on the Florida panhandle with her brother Peter, a small, stout-hearted dog and three brilliant cats.
She has a blog, of course:
You can contact her at

Kirkus Review for One Day Tells its Tale to Another
"Like a well-wrought memoir, this medley of free- and fixed-verse poems combines vivid personal narrative with probing self-reflection.

“So, I did the thing / I would never do,” confesses a young dancer upon landing an art-smothering, body-pulverizing contract job in “Paid to Dance,” one of many seemingly autobiographical poems in Augustine’s debut collection.

One can easily imagine the same confession from the older narrator sleeping with her friend’s husband in “Wine and Cheese Villanelle” or the jaded lover of “Sestina,” who “learned to play double, just like him.”

Compromise and disillusionment are frequent themes here but so are resilience and learning, although the narrators are often too busy navigating their lives to recognize their growing wisdom. Augustine often layers the perspectives of the narrator, author and reader to bolster the poems’ realism and emotional sincerity, and it’s a technique she hones to near perfection. On rare occasions, the poet usurps the narrator and lapses into bathos: “As we sit at this café table / in Montmartre, sheltered / from the downpour, I see our future. / I will write it down on torn paper, / using a sapphire pen,” seemingly taking seriously Billy Collins’ satirical advice in his poem “The Student” that poets should, “when at a loss for an ending, / have some brown hens standing in the rain.”

On the whole, however, Augustine demonstrates much greater control and precision as she works through multiple iterations of love and loss, employing to great effect forms as varied as the prose poem, the concrete poem, the villanelle, the sestina, the sonnet and the ballad. She reimagines fairy tales, evokes foreign lands through bodily sensation, valorizes women’s perseverance, and revels in the rollicking pleasures of sex, even when they come with risk. As her narrators age, she tightens the circle, mourning and celebrating with equal intensity. One narrator contemplates the “Three Things That Did Not Happen”: “I almost saw Nessie,” “I almost won the jackpot,” and “I almost had a child. / She was there in my womb / until chromosomes killed her. / My God, that would have been something.” Among the losses, though, it “appears gone for good are dramas and bothers, / threats and therapists, drunk, needy lovers. / And…lovely, lovely, lovely is my cat’s furry belly.”

Poetry that often transcends its own bounds, spilling over into readers’ lives and forcing them to confront their own narratives."

Kirkus Review, 2013

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About To See Who's There

To See Who’s There is a collection of poems and short prose pieces largely based on Nonnie Augustine’s research into her family history. In this book you will read about Irish, German, Spanish and French immigrants to Canada and America and about ancestral lives lived in the old world. She pairs dry facts gleaned from historical documents with the human voices of ancestors dead for centuries using various poetic forms or prose structures. There are glimpses at beggars, royals, farmers, carpenters, musicians, one sonneteer and one Loup-garou. Ms. Augustine believes that we are all family and among the people of the past in these pages are imagined “cousins” living during more recent decades or present settings. She also writes in her own voice about her own experiences, knowing that she belongs in the midst of the men, women, and children she has tried to reveal. Emily Dickinson wrote “The moon-slides down the stair—To see who’s there!” And so do we.

Review of To See Who's There:

“As this stunning collection explores Nonnie Augustine’s familial history, so many issues that resonate with us today come to the forefront: race and erasure; women’s rights and redactions; class strife and class climbs. Through the detailing of the physical act of dancing, the abstract sense of family connection shines through because readers intuit that dancing is not only what one does, but also how one can embody lineage. Building on the strengths of specificity, character creation, and the use of forms, this book resounds with readers and their own lineages, whatever they may be.”

 Charlotte Pence, author of Many Small Fires

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purchase this book.

Click here  to purchase To See Who's There from CreateSpace.


Blue Fifth Review
Amsterdam Quarterly
Mad Hatter's Review
Writing in a Woman's Voice
Great Jones Street