"The poems in Half-Dreaming, Douglas Nordfors' beautiful new book, fly like birds around twin flagpoles--the abstract vs. the concrete, the self as stable vs. the self as always in the process of creating itself, what is knowable about the world vs. what is, and always will be, mystery. Ruminative, breathtaking in their associative leaps, these poems see and feel with such burning intensity that they draw us, spellbound, into their fire. Over many years, Nordfors has quietly built a body of work that generously rewards sustained attention."
--Steve Bellin-Oka, author of Instructions for Seeing a Ghost
"In his latest book of poetry, Half-Dreaming, Douglas Nordfors asks the big questions of what constitutes intimacy, growth and being, and answers them with a fleet-footed blend of philosophy, meditation, politics, personal and relational observations. The book toggles between sections titled 'Abstract' and 'Concrete, ' but the dexterous interplay feels almost too rich for a binary characterization. He faces hard truths without flinching, but circles back to the 'pale happiness' he describes in 'Deliberate Ecstasy.' Every poem brings a new revelation, you'll find no artifice or filler here. From a stunning sequence of love poems comes 'A Dream, ' where he writes: 'It is not your beauty./ It is not your mind as large/ as the stains of another existence... It is that you are here, / shedding the hard center of the world.' The 'split tongues' Nordfors writes of sing, taking the reader on a journey that feels hopeful, edifying and earned, as if they too are shedding for a moment the hard center of the world. It is a deft and elegant book, and, for those who seek refuge in poetry, a welcome reprieve from the political noise. A must-read."
--Sarah Estes, author of Hive Bone and Field Work