Published by the Center for Literary Publishing at Colorado State University
Mountain West Poetry Series
"'Who doesn’t nurse a secret love?' asks Andrew S. Nicholson in visionary poems that reveal secret worlds cradled inside this one. Whether considering the casinos of Las Vegas, a fresco in Pompeii, or scenes from the Hebrew Bible, the poet endures one of desire’s more fraught paradoxes: its unchanging ability to bring change, to turn the known into the unknown. These poems bravely attend to such transformations the way Jacob—the book’s patron saint—wrestles with the angel, 'lifting all the flesh / that he can lose.' I admire this poet who knows that blessing doesn’t arrive without loss, who remembers 'I was loved once. / Beneath that love, a kindness took root.' The same sweet feeling lingers long after this book is closed. Dear reader: savor it."
"Andrew S. Nicholson’s A Lamp Brighter than Foxfire is a gorgeous book. His graceful, playful poems enchant us ('I try to make out the stranger’s face, but he’s shrinking: / a melting gray blur, an ever-smaller thorn.') and transform us ('Sink into the bathwater, any way is a way / to journey toward that joining'). Nicholson has become one of the great poets of a new and radical kind of pastoral."
Opening the space between the ordinary and the visionary, the poems in A Lamp Brighter than Foxfire uncover an intimate relationship with the world, from Las Vegas to Italy to the American Midwest. From a lime glowing in an orchard to a miraculous childhood attempt at levitation, Andrew S. Nicholson’s poems ground themselves in the commonplace and leap for the luminous. Central to this collection are poems that retell stories of Jacob from the Old Testament, relocated behind casinos, glimpsed in miniature on kitchen floors, and heard speaking in a moment of decay. Through these retellings, Nicholson examines the creation of self, family relationships, and a generative sense of the divine.