Shell Games
poems by Noel Sloboda

"A teacher and professor, an accomplished and prolific writer, Noel Sloboda brings readers something to enjoy with Shell Games. Seeking to explain how we grasp the truths and reality that surround us day by day, his work is enlightening and eye opening, not to mention entertaining. Shell Games is something to consider for any regular poetry reader."
Midwest Book Review

"Sloboda’s poems are a bit of an enigma; not unlike those of Collins or Kooser, they make use of simple language to deliver surprisingly intricate and profound treatments of everyday existence. They are not quite nature poems, although 'Shell Games,' 'Winter of the Campaign,' 'Fallen,' and several others have a distinctly rural sensibility; the sense of a physical topography, a terrain that is being actively explored, is palpable in this impressive first collection."
Prick of the Spindle

"If readers are looking for aggressive poetry, writing that throttles the brain or grapples with hands & muscles, Noel Sloboda’s Shell Games is not the book for them. But if those readers are looking for a collection of writing that condenses & flows, a series of poems that forces the mind into the complex & often unexplored simplicity of true life, then this is absolutely the book of choice, the one to pick up, the one to read through again, again, again.“
Mud Luscious

"Shell Games is a step to the other side of the mirror, a Wonderland of new perspectives and fresh concepts on daily life. It is an adventure: intense, unusual perceptions set down in thoughtful understatement. Noel’s book is pure poetry, at once clarifying and deepening the mystery of our human experience.“
—Carol Clark Williams, Poet Laureate of the city of York, Pennsylvania

"Just beneath the domesticated surfaces of these poems we glimpse portents of fear, grief, and rage—only a circumstance away from turning feral: kittens become hissing cats; a broken turtle suggests unseen sources of violence; a jobless husband waits, cornered, for the return of his working spouse."
—Chuck Sweetman, Associate Director of Writing Courses, Washington University in St. Louis

"Noel Sloboda’s poems are life forms. They breathe. They are glad to be alive. They pull out onto the highway, roll down all the windows, and take you along for the ride."
—Peter Cole, editor of Keyhole Magazine

Named a July–August Pick by Small Press Review.

Featured in an article by Penn State York.

In Shell Games, Noel Sloboda surveys the landscape of daily life and the deceptions commonly encountered there. Reveling in the artistry of the ordinary, Sloboda examines how we endeavor to grasp truths about those around us as well as ourselves. Readers will find both poignancy and possibility in the quotidian dramas of this collection.

Noel was interviewed by Keyhole Magazine.

And also Redivider.