This Is Not About Birds, a book of poems, is available from Gold Wake Press

Five sample poems from the book are showcased at the Saxifrage Press website.

A feature article on the book’s release appeared in The Courier News (NJ).


“Ripatrazone presents us the detritus of a consumer economy—a landscape littered with Oldsmobiles and shoe catalogues—yet also suggests that this glittering ephemera retains a dark side. Just as the character in the poem fails to fit within this paradigm because of his sexual orientation, the poem suggests that alienation proves inevitable for those who are part of collective. This theme surfaces throughout the poems, as hunters, daredevils, and swimmers find themselves at turns accepted by and estranged from the people who surround them. In many ways, Ripatrazone’s use of the persona poem illustrates for the reader the many forms that alienation can take. His presentation of a single theme becomes increasingly complex and multifaceted as the book unfolds. As a result, the myriad voices within the manuscript retain a wonderful sense of unity when considered as a whole. Nick Ripatrazone’s This is Not About Birds is a spectacular new addition to this writer’s body of work, as finely crafted as it is insightful—a truly remarkable book.” The Rumpus

“It’s a quiet moment of reflection, the first of many throughout This Is Not About Birds’s forty-eight poems, many of which contains characteristically loud objects: rifles, pickup trucks, pop-top beer cans, meeting halls, human beings. There’s something muscular, something masculine to the majority of Ripatrazone’s poetics, but even the sensationalized masculinity of a Pabst-sponsored daredevil jumping thirteen trucks at the county fairgrounds is an occasion for the poem’s speaker to ruminate on the reasons why men do outwardly stupid things: rifle in hand, crushed cans of Old Milwaukee at their feet, they, like anybody else, are looking to escape the mundane details of everyday life.” Mid-American Review

“One such example of a glimmer is in the poem “This is How You Remove a Hook”. The poet writes, “ the trout will die / unless you learn to move / with a mixture of speed and care” and perhaps this is the answer to the question that the entire collection seems to pose: how do we resurrect anything? These things might be those discarded in the woods behind a house, places long forgotten, people, a pigeon at the train station, even the trout that this poem centers around. The solution seems to be that we cannot try to hold on to these things for too long, that we must hold them briefly, capture them only momentarily, and then release. This is something at which Ripatrazone succeeds.” StorySouth