Poet Sophia Naz’s new book, “Open Zero,” is imbued with loss and longing. In 2017, the writer’s home in Glen Ellen, California, burned to the ground in a wildfire.
“It is through writing that one can recreate, as if conjuring out of thin air, a landscape that no longer exists,” she says.
On the fateful night, Naz was working late when she smelled smoke. She checked her phone for an alert, and finding nothing, assumed she was safe.
But a few hours later, a fire truck pulled up, and a voice on a megaphone told everyone to evacuate. She woke up her son, and the family hurried out the door.
“We left, and that was the last time I saw my home,” she says.
In time, her family bought a trailer and moved back to the charred property. And grief began working its way into her poetry — like in this stanza from ‘After, Math’:
Shining where it once stood where you stand, on scarred earth scabbed into scrub as if after many blows a giant had fallen and through his maws you saw the valley yawn wide, felt something give as the waters rushed in.
Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media