October 4, 2023

CSU Faculty Publishes Poetry Book

Congratulations from CSU to English Professor Katherine Nelson-Born on her forthcoming premiere poetry chapbook, When Mockingbirds Sing, published by Finishing Line Press.

Celebrate national poetry month and support Dr. Nelson-Born by purchasing her book during her advance sales period.  Advance sales determine how many books go to print.  Purchase your copy today.

SUNDAY 24 APRIL 2016 is the last day you may purchase Dr. Nelson-Born’s chapbook, When Mockingbirds Sing, for ONLY $13.99 + $2.99 shipping and help her receive the benefits of the presale period (go to to and look under new releases for Katherine Nelson-Born). 

After Sunday you can still purchase the chapbook, but purchases made after Sunday will not count toward her pressrun, which is determined according to how many books she sells during the presale period.

Dr. Nelson-Born’s provocative poems present an unflinching vision of life’s fragility.  Her artful wordplay brings to light from “throaty darkness” a “sisterhood reaching back” to “ancient stones/once used to weigh down girls” and sings to us “of a time/older than the ruins of Pompeii,/newer than the morning of a day not yet born.”

Thank you to those of you who already supported her poetry and bought her new book, and visit the Finishing Line Press website and see the wonderful reviews her book has earned thus far.

At CSU we appreciate the artistic and professional endeavors of our faculty, staff, and students.   Celebrate national poetry month with your purchase of Dr. Nelson-Born’s book of poems and enjoy!


When Mockingbirds Sing
Katherine Nelson-Born, PhD

The crickets cheer the sun’s descent into the lake.

The sky yawns and swallows the sun’s cherry-red

globe sliced with orange, like candy in a child’s mouth –

absorbing the shrinking orb until the last

sliver slides down into throaty darkness.

All that is left is the sweet afterglow.

A few stray chirps, then silence grows

until in the blue-black velvet a call comes.

Some call it a catbird. Some think it’s a sin

to shoot one. They make music and bother

no one, except cats, perhaps, who have it coming

anyway. I think they mock me. I sit here

working to make words sing when they sing

without effort. So perfectly do mockingbirds mimic

other birdsong, the human ear cannot tell the difference.

So sweet, their mocking seems the real thing,

like a knock-off Gucci bag at an Italian market,

so beautiful a mimicry, who cares?

Like soft Italian leather, the burra burra of

the bluebird, the blush of the setting sun,

the mockingbird’s music mesmerizes.

I trip over each word, tempted to drop the pen,

listen more to the music of the spheres, and dream

I can sing like the mockingbird of a time

older than the ruins of Pompeii,

newer than the morning of a day not yet born.


NOTE: The above poem celebrates the US National Poetry Month of April and originally was published in the West Florida Literary Federation’s Emerald Coast Review XV (2009), funded in part by an NEA Big Read grant 2008-2009, celebrating Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. 

Dr. Nelson-Born’s poem also is the title poem for her premiere poetry chapbook of the same title, When Mockingbirds Sing, currently available for advance purchase from Finishing Line Press at and due out June 2016.




One Comment

  1. Robert Freeland

    Congratulations Katherine on such a collection of poems to augment a famous book (and movie).
    Another bard is amongst us–sweet music to the ear.