Spring 2022

HOUSE FIRE, stories and poems by Jim Nawrocki


From an automaton navigating a forbidden relationship with a man in post-apocalyptic Australia to a reimagining of a friendship between Franklin Pierce and Nathaniel Hawthorne, Nawrocki’s short fiction ranges from futuristic to historical and everywhere in between. House Fire, the winner of the 2009 James White Poetry Prize, judged by Mark Doty—a book that was never published—blazes with poems that are erudite and precise, even when confronting the messiness of love, grief, and mortality.

The work of the late Jim Nawrocki, who died of cancer in 2018, is poignant, rangy, and genre-bending, and House Fire is a debut collection from a literary voice gone far too soon.

Advance Praise for HOUSE FIRE

“These poems are the work of a hungry ghost, a gifted young man with a keen eye and silver tongue, who felt in the keenest, most intimate way the transience of all things.  Jim Nawrocki alternates between a Buddhist calm and the ferocious appetite for the life of those condemned to know they will die young.  In these splendid verses only Jim’s art is resolute and invariably mature.”

“An unsung genius in life, Jim Nawrocki’s poems and stories left me wanting much more and knowing my hunger wouldn’t be satisfied. Alternating between the domestic, the postapocalyptic, and the cosmic, House Fire marks not only the beginning, but also the end, of Jim’s vision. This ironic circularity perfectly encapsulates his erotics. If we are lucky, more posthumous work will grace us with his peculiar wisdom.”
—MICHAEL WALSH, editor of Queer Nature and author of Creep Love.