“Most writers are formed by their experience, and mine was in a time and place light-filled and almost magical.”
– Christopher Buckley
It’s our good fortune that Christopher Buckley lives near the ocean. It helps provide the long view for his beautifully expansive poetry. Raised in Santa Barbara on surfing and Catholic school “left a habit of metaphysical speculation that was reinforced by my environment,” he says. From blue horizon to murky heaven and distant stars to drifting dust motes, nothing escapes his gaze and careful analysis.
In his penetrating new book, “The Pre-Eternity of The World,” Christopher tackles life’s big questions with a fine-toothed comb. Newly retired from a career in academia, he finds himself haunted by memories of lost poet friends, colleagues, mentors and his own younger self. Here he forsakes elegy for ambitious exploration, breathing life into faded recollections and mystical flights – with great swings of humor, humility, snippets of conversation, and a potent grind of cynicism and gratitude. His art honors the art of his influences – indeed the very individuals whose presence he’s missing. It’s curious magic from one of the most accomplished, respected and prolific voices in modern poetry.
Christopher Buckley has published more than 20 books of poetry, several chapbooks and limited editions, and three memoirs. A generous mentor to writers across the country, he has edited six poetry anthologies as well as critical books on the poets Philip Levine, Larry Levis, and Luis Omar Salinas. Christopher’s honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship in Poetry, two National Endowment for the Arts Grants, a Fulbright Award, and four Pushcart prizes. “After Tu Fu” – one of the poems from his new book – is included in The Best American Poetry 2021. He is professor emeritus at the University of California-Riverside.
Signed by the author.