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  • Chris Nealon is Professor of English at Johns Hopkins University. He is the author of The Shore (Wave Books, 2020) as well as two books of literary criticism, Foundlings: Lesbian and Gay Historical Emotion before Stonewall (Duke, 2001) and The Matter of Capital: Poetry and Crisis in The American Century (Harvard, 2011), as well as three earlier books of poetry: The Joyous Age (Black Square Editions, 2004), Plummet (Edge Books, 2009), and Heteronomy (Edge, 2014). He lives in Washington, DC.

  • Reviews

    Chris Nealon’s “Wait a Minute” plunges us into cognitive and bodily immediacy that combines elements of John Ashbery and Frank O’Hara--Ashbery’s controlled but at the same time irrepressible meditation.
    Angela Ball, Best American Poetry

    The primary thing I feel reading Chris Nealon’s The Shore is gratitude. Gratitude that he exists as a writer and thinker, as a human. Gratitude to him for writing this book, whose resonances only deepen in a COVID-crisis world.
    Allison Cobb, Lambda Literary Review

    Reading Nealon, one feels as though Homer has been reincarnated in sound bites, or as though Coleridge has succeeded in reviving the song of the damsel with her dulcimer, and we realize it is both as delightful and as laughable as we could have imagined. Nealon is both god and jester, beckoning us close even as he warns us to beware.
    The Volta

    Political poetry might bring to mind the activist tone of Denise Levertov or the cadenced rhetoric of Gil Scott-Heron. Nealon's version is a more playful and self-aware reverie, finding political unease in the passing thought.
    Johns Hopkins Magazine

    Nealon taps into the energies of popular culture without condescension or self-congratulation or (easy) irony; his poems are at once totally well-wrought and unaffectedly conversational; he is clear-eyed about the catastrophe of the present but refuses to descend into mere melancholy; he has no illusions about poetry’s practical power but he is not in love with—or particularly tortured by—its marginality; Nealon—an accomplished literary critic—neither disavows his learning or retreats into it.
    Ben Lerner, The Millions

    Nealon, through his own flights and musings, is frequently able to tap into our collective frustrations and joys. He understands that we are all, to some extent, heteronomous, subject to powers outside ourselves. Yet, Nealon also understands that an awareness of this fact, an awareness that poetry can often bring, can help us escape these strictures.
    Blake Bergeron, Noo Journal

    Nealon's bracing and bitter debut both enters and mocks the tradition of kaleidoscopic, difficult poetry as grand social critique, and makes most new work in that mode sound sloppy or bland by contrast.
    Stephanie Burt, The Believer

    Reviews of books by Chris Nealon

    The Shore

  • Poems
    - "A Dream" (in Harper's Magazine)
    - "You Surround Me" (in Pen America)
    - Three Poems (in Reading between A&B)
    - "Heteronomy" (in Matter Monthly)
    - "Sea Reliance" (in Everyday Genius)

    The Volta, with Joshua Clover and Juliana Spahr
    Johns Hopkins Magazine, with Brett McCabe

  • Video

    Reading for the Hearts Desire Reading Series:

    Reading for the General Idea reading series:

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