If you're just curious, look around. If you have time, read the samples of Ken's poems. If you have the interest, read about what kind of person he is, what he writes about, what events in his life have shaped who he is.
If you read the poems here, or if you have read others of Ken's poems, you will probably note the prose-like nature of Ken's writing which ranges from free verse with a slightly detectable meter to prose-poetry that has no rhythm or rhyme. Some people say this isn't poetry. But most people agree that his poetry is genuine, heartfelt and very personal. He writes about his own life, things that happen to him or to his family which aren't very different from the things that happen to other people and other people's families as well. People identify with him and seem to recognize in the poetry feelings that they themselves have felt. They hear in the poetry the ring of truth and authenticity. His books are among the best selling poetry books in book shops across Maine. All three of his books, Searching for the Spring, From the Heart and A Dog Is a Gift are in multiple printings and continue to move off the shelves. In the first 24 weeks after the publication of Searching for the Spring, the book was on a local best-seller list for eight of those 24 weeks. From the Heart was selected by the Maine Writers and Puiblishers Alliance as the best self-published book in Maine in 2007. And in December of 2007, the Portland Press Herald included From the Heart in a list of "Ten Must Reads for the Mainer on Your Gift List."
Searching for the Spring: Poetic Reflections of Maine was Ken's first book, published less than two years after he began writing poetry. This first collection of Ken's poems is focused in Maine. Many of the poems in the book are sited on the Nye's farm in North Rumford. The book is a heart-warming combination of the exhileration of living in such a beautiful environment and the comfort and joy in raising a family on a farm in Maine.
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From the Heart: Poetic Reflections on Growing Old in Maine, is a broader collection of poems that still encompasses Ken's infatuation with the sacred nature of the natural world, as evidence of a creative spirit that controls the universe, and his love of family, friends, dogs and people. Many readers seem to identify with Ken's emotions as he writes about being a grandfather, dealing with his mother's Alzheimer's, the joys and sadnesses of living with a dog.
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A Dog Is a Gift: Poetic Reflections on Living with a Dog is a short collection of poems about Ken's dogs and about dogs in general. Sad, funny, and endearing, this book is a must for any dog lover. It would be especially comforting to a family or to anyone who had recently had to put a dog down because of illness or old age.
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Clouds of Glory, available in October '09, is a collection of Ken's newer poems grouped by themes. (A few poems from earlier books are included to round out each of the six chapters.) Included are chapters on dealing with his mother's journey with Alzheimer's and his own coming to grips with aging and Parkinson's. There is also a chapter of poems emanating from his childhood and youth. The book is enhanced by the photography of Paul Schreiber, of Yarmouth, Maine, whose stunning photos encapsulate the themes of the six chapters. The book is designed to please the eye and ear and to stimulate the mind and heart.
Praise for Ken's Poetry
"Thank you so much. I really am glad that you could come into our school. My mom loves your poems. She gave them to everyone she knows. And the people she gave them to just love them, too. "
"When Ken wrote of Monhegan Island and his farm in rural Maine, I saw Oklahoma's rolling hills and valleys and my own parent's little place above the Rrd. When he wrote about the people and the natural world surrounding him, it felt like home to me. That's a rare talent in a writer and the mark of a great one. When a poet can do what Ken does with his words, put the reader right there beside him, he can transform the reader, move him, make him a part of the work."
Author of Native Son: American Poems from the Heart of Oklahoma
"Maine is the unmistakable setting for most of this work -- the look of snow, the smells of a winter barn, the forests, or "...Katahdin, rising abruptly from the plane of lakes and trees, appearing almost non-chalant, as if it is unmoved by our looks of wonder." Ken frequently finds ways to describe familiar sights and sounds (and smells) in ways which immediately register. The poems meet my test --- they'll make you smile, nod and even generate an occasional Wow."
"Ken's poems awaken within the reader a yearning for the simplicity, security, and rootedness of home. Each one is a snapshot, a memory of a place or relationship that affirms, provides a sense of history, identity and belonging. This is why I believe Ken Nye is more than just a New England poet, for these are American snapshots, visions of the American dream."
award-winning poet and author of Kindred Trinity
"When I got home, I sat down to read a couple of the poems and didn't get out of the chair until two hours later when I had finished the whole book. I couldn't put it down."