Nicholas Christopher

Nicholas Christopher was born and raised in New York City. He was educated at Harvard College, and afterward traveled and lived in Europe. He became a regular contributor to the New Yorker in his early twenties, and began publishing his work in other leading magazines, both in the United States and abroad. He has also been a regular contributor to Granta, Esquire, The New Republic, The New York Review of Books, The Nation, and The Paris Review. He is the author of seventeen books: six novels, The Soloist (Viking, 1986), Veronica (1996), A Trip to the Stars (2000), Franklin Flyer (2002), The Bestiary (2007), and Tiger Rag (2013), all published by the Dial Press; nine volumes of poetry, On Tour with Rita (Knopf, 1982), A Short History of the Island of Butterflies (1986), Desperate Characters: A Novella in Verse (1988), In the Year of the Comet (1992), and (1995), all published by Viking Penguin, The Creation of the Night Sky (1998), Atomic Field: Two Poems (2000), and Crossing the Equator: New & Selected Poems, 1972-2004, published by Harcourt, and On Jupiter Place (Counterpoint, 2016); and a nonfiction book, Somewhere in the Night: Film Noir & the American City (The Free Press, 1997). His novel for children, The True Adventures of Nicolò Zen, was published by Alfred A. Knopf in 2014. He also edited two poetry anthologies, Under 35: The New Generation of American Poets (Anchor, 1989) and Walk on the Wild Side: Urban American Poetry Since 1975 (Scribner, 1994). His work has been widely translated and published in other countries — including Germany, France, Spain, Japan, Korea, Greece, Turkey, Hungary, Serbia, Poland, as well as the United Kingdon — and his work has appeared in numerous anthologies. He has translated the poems of Martial and Catullus and the work of several modern Greek poets, including George Seferis and Yannis Ritsos. He has received numerous awards and fellowships, from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Academy of American Poets, the Poetry Society of America, and the National Endowment for the Arts, among other institutions. He taught at Yale and New York University, and since 2000 has been a Professor on the permanent faculty of the graduate Writing Program of the School of the Arts at Columbia University. He lives in New York City.

 

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On Jupiter Place

Acclaimed as both a poet and a novelist, Nicholas Christopher began publishing poems in The New Yorker in his early twenties. Since then, he has published eight poetry collections. He has been praised over the years, by poets and critics, as one of America’s most important poets. Reviewing his selected poems, Crossing the Equator, the Washington Post wrote: “To read his richly honed and sensuous work, which has so much tensile strength, is to visit other worlds and then to return to our own, disturbed by time, but also refreshed and reawakened.”
On Jupiter Place is Christopher’s first book since that collection, and its poems are among his most personal and intimate. A section of beautifully constructed lyric and narrative poems is followed by a series of twenty-one interconnected poems set in a Paris that is both real and imagined. The title poem reads almost like a mini-autobiography of the poet’s earliest experiences — his mother’s near fatal illness, his subsequent life with his grandparents in a working-class neighborhood teeming with characters: a Holocaust survivor who resides next door to a former German-American Bund member, a flashy mobster who raises his family across the street from a failing car salesman, a beautiful night nurse, and a domineering widow. Other poems explore issues of travel, love, loss, death. There is a “notebook” that chronicles, by way of brief, evocative entries, the turbulent, reflective year after the death of the poet’s father, and a poem that paints a complex portrait of Lois Lane, as seen through the looking glass. As in all his poetry, Christopher draws on his skills as a novelist to construct his long poems and to assemble the intricate sequences at the heart of this book. On Jupiter Place is a rich, powerful collection from one of our premier poets.

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