Nude With Anything
“‘A late hope,’ one of Jamie D’Agostino’s poems ends characteristically, in ‘the ellipse of the morning,’ at its beginning yet at its very latest opportunity—where else would anything like hope literally exist? From this first book’s first lines we find ourselves in a poetry rich, duplicitous, joyous, driven enough to resemble creation, metamorphic yet holding on, alive. It may be a measure of this poet’s marvelous technique that he can take the moments and memories chosen for him and constructions of his own making and refuse to stay still there, and in the midst of exquisite visual feeling-tones just step out from it all and speak even more amazing acknowledgements. In this sure voice is a heartbreaking, enlivening faith.”
“I love these poems, their cathedral-like meditations, their brilliant sentences spiraling like silver necklaces of DNA. Or water falling down successive terraces. What they track, ‘the necessary coordinates / of precisely here,’ is mysterious as a fingerprint, intimate as blood-flow. ‘Believing / nothing,’ D’Agostino says, ‘I believed slowly what I could, a little / ceremony, if even only / pouring ordinary water one glass to another to feel a thing / turn into itself again and again . . . ‘ In biology, recognition occurs when a molecule attaches itself to another whose shape is receptive. D’Agostino’s poems move thought to thought with that same unerring receptivity; and yet it is equally true that an enormous tenderness drifts through them like the Milky Way.”
“James D’Agostino’s poems propose emergency measures. Follow them. They will save your life.”
James D’Agostino was born prematurely in Chicago, where he later received a B.A. from Loyola University. He took an M.F.A. from Indiana University and a Ph.D. at Western Michigan University. His poems have appeared in such magazines as TriQuarterly, Conduit, Forklift, Ohio, Green Mountains Review, ACM (Another Chicago Magazine), and Denver Quarterly. He lives in Missouri with his wife, the poet Karen Carcia.