An Afternoon with Steve Nolan and Luray Gross

Please join the Newtown Bookshop as we welcome Steve Nolan and Luray Gross to the Newtown Bookshop on Saturday, November 11th at 4:00pm!  Steve and Luray will be reading from their book of poems.  Steve will be reading from his brand new book, "A Palace of Ruins" and Luray will be reading from "With This Body".  All are invited! 

This is a FREE EVENT and will be held at the new location of the Newtown Bookshop!

Call the store to preorder your copy!


From the mountains of Afghanistan, to the devastated cities of Ukraine, to the ransacked Capitol of the United States, Steve Nolan takes you on an intimate journey, a portrait of destruction and the human impulse to rise from the rubble to construct a new palace on the ruins of the last. Whether referencing civilization, government, or a single soul, his poetry pays tribute to those who manage to find treasure amongst the shards of a shattered individual life or the shattered dreams of history. In his theme poem, "The Longest Dream in the World," he shares The longest dream hasn't died. Dreams are not subject to death like ideologies, one stacked upon the archeology of the other- a palace of ruins... The dream, like the wind, is the breath of the world.


Luray Gross's With This Body has through linesearly life on a farm, body connections, reactions to current events and traumas, the refuge of words. Dedicated to "all who have lost a child," that child could be a younger self, as well as one lost to illness or tragic circumstance. Often in these poems the adult watches the young self, times and lives overlapping. The effect is delicate; our empathy is cajoled. Many poems are reactions to poets, almost letters, among them to Jane Hirshfield, Richard Hugo, Samira Negrouche, and many more. Gross's impulse to communicate with other writers is expansive yet personal. And as readers, we are always welcome in the conversation. In the center of this book, "What the Poem Carries" spells out some of the magic of these poems:

This poem wants to blend in a chorus,

sounding any note of the chord.


This poem knows we all need a break from despair

and all that residual sadness. It's been around long enough

to know that the blues are really love songs

and making peace with terror

is the price you pay to stay alive.

The same or similar ideas and images keep turning up-a favorite sweater, interactions while teaching kids, figures that inhabit a recognizable world. With This Body is a house of many rooms, companionable. It'll get into your dreams.

-Valerie Fox, author of Insomniatic


STEVE NOLAN did his undergraduate work at the University of Miami in English and Psychology and his Masters at Barry University, in clinical social work. He is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who spent twenty-five years as a therapist and thirty years in the military, ending his career as the Chief of Combat Stress for Paktika Province in Afghanistan. He ran a PTSD clinic for the VA for five years before moving to Newtown, Pennsylvania. He is the author of new book of poetry, A Palace of Ruins and has a previous poetry collection, Base Camp, as well as a collection of essays, American Carnage: An Officer’s Duty to Warn. His work has been published in: Passages North, U.S. 1 Worksheets, The Florida Review, Woodrider and others.


LURAY GROSS grew up on a Pennsylvania dairy farm in a household full of music and books. Her new poetry collection is With This Body and she has four previous collections, Forenoon, Elegant Reprieve (1995–96 Still Waters Press Poetry Chapbook Competition winner), The Perfection of Zeros and Lift. She was the 2002 Poet Laureate of Bucks County and resident faculty at the 2006 Frost Place Festival and Conference on Poetry in Franconia, NH. She was the recipient of a fellowship in poetry from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and, in 2000, named one of the Council’s Distinguished Teaching Artists. A storyteller as well as poet, she has worked with thousands of students and teachers over the last twenty-some years.

Event date: 
Saturday, November 11, 2023 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm
Event address: 
Newtown Bookshop
2120 S. Eagle Road
Newtown, PA 18940