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.

About Nicholas Christopher

NICHOLAS CHRISTOPHER was born and raised in New York City. He was educated at Harvard College. Afterward, he 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, including Esquire, the New Republic, the New York Review of Books, the Nation, and the Paris Review. He has appeared in numerous anthologies, including the Norton Anthology of Poetry, the Paris Review 50th Anniversary Anthology, the Best American Poetry, Poet's Choice, the Everyman's Library Poems of New York and Conversation Pieces, the Norton Anthology of Love, the Faber Book of Movie Verse, and the Grand Street Reader. He has edited two major anthologies himself, Under 35: The New Generation of American Poets (Anchor, 1989) and Walk on the Wild Side: Urban American Poetry Since 1975 (Scribner, 1994). He is the author of sixteen books: Six novels: The Soloist (Viking, 1986; reissued in 2007), Veronica (1996), A Trip to the Stars (2000), Franklin Flyer (2002), The Bestiary (2007), and Tiger Rag (2013), all published by the Dial Press. Eight 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 5 Degrees (1995), all published by Viking Penguin, and The Creation of the Night Sky (1998), Atomic Field: Two Poems(2000), Crossing the Equator: New & Selected Poems, 1972-2004, published by Harcourt. Nonfiction: Somewhere in the Night: Film Noir & the American City (Free Press, 1997; expanded tenth-anniversary edition (Shoemaker & Hoard, 2006). For Children: The True Adventures of Nicolò Zen (forthcoming) a novel (Knopf/Random House Children's Books) His books have been translated and published many other countries, and he is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships from various institutions, including the Guggenheim Foundation, the Academy of American Poets, the Poetry Society of America, and the National Endowment for the Arts. He has taught at Yale, Barnard College, and New York University, and is now a Professor on the permanent faculty of the Writing Program of the School of the Arts at Columbia University. He lives in New York City.
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