Alice James Books, October 2016

This debut highlights fatherhood at its peak as it juggles the uncertainty and deeper meaning of everyday life. The hesitant, yet curious voice of the poems are deeply entrenched in the familial, yet also refreshingly open about the crush one feels when their ideals crash down. How does one build a life, only to be redirected and start anew?

"Deeply felt and beautifully built, the poems in Matthew Nienow's long-awaited debut shimmer with hard-won grace. . . House of Water is a staggering book that marks the arrival of an important voice in American poetry."

—Eduardo C. Corral


“Matthew Nienow understands the spell-like power of calling things by their ancient, actual names: nubbins and sapwood, preachers and riving knives, lapstrake and bulwarks and sponsons. House of Water is a marvelous debut, full of love songs to work, to struggle, and to all that is plumb, and level, and true.” 

 —Patrick Phillips