Poet of the Month: Christopher Buckley
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Christopher Buckley was raised in Santa Barbara, CA and educated at St. Mary's College, San Diego State University, and the
University of California Irvine. He has taught at Fresno State University, Murray State
University, KY, the University of California Santa Barbara, and West Chester University,
PA. He is Professor and Chair of the Creative Writing Department at the University of
His books of poetry are--Last Rites, l980, Other Lives, l985
(Ithaca House); Dust Light, Leaves, l986 and Blossoms & Bones: On The
Life and Work of Georgia O'Keeffe, l988
(Vanderbilt Univ. Press); Blue Autumn (1990) and Dark Matter (1993) with
Copper Beech Press of Brown University, and in 1994 Painted Hills Press published his
seventh collection, A Short History of Light, as the wining entry in Painted
Hills Review's first annual book contest.
His 8th book, Camino Cielo, was published by Orchises Press in 1997. Fall From
Grace will be published by Bk Mk Press of the University of Missouri-Kansas City in
For his poetry he has received an NEA grant, a Fulbright Award in Creative Writing to
Yugoslavia, an award from the W.B. Yeats Society, four Pushcart Prizes, two Pennsylvania
Council on the Arts Grants, and he has twice received the Gertrude B. Claytor Memorial
Award from the Poetry Society of America. For 1992-93 he was a Pew Fellowship in the Arts
Disciplinary Winner in Poetry. Among other journals, his work has appeared in The New
Yorker, Antaeus, American Poetry Review, The Hudson Review, The
Nation, The Iowa Review, New England Review, Gettysburg Review, Ploughshares,
The Georgia Review, The Kenyon Review, Crazyhorse, Seneca Review,
The Sewanee Review, Quarterly West, New Letters, and POETRY.
Buckley is the editor of On The Poetry Of Philip Levine: Stranger To Nothing,
Univ. of Michigan Press, l99l, and, with Christopher Merrill, What Will Suffice:
Contemporary American Poets on the Art of Poetry, Peregrine Smith Books, l995. For
l991-l992, he was Poetry Editor for The Pushcart Prize, Vol. XVII. He is an Associate
Editor for the journal, POETRY INTERNATIONAL.
His criticism and reviews have appeared in Crazyhorse, The Bloomsbury Review,
Poet Lore, The New Leader, Quarterly West, Denver Quarterly, and Pequod.
He has contributed the entry on Ernesto Trejo to the Dictionary of Literary Biography
Chicano Writers Edition, Second Series. His review of Thomas McGrath's Selected Poems was anthologized in the Contemporary
Literary Criticism Yearbook, # 50,1989. His essay on Charles Wright's Xionia appears in The Point Where All
Things Meet, Ed. Tom Andrews, Field Editions, 1995, and an appreciation of Charles
Simic's The World Doesn't End, "Sounds
That Could Have Been Singing" appears in Charles
SimicEssays On The Poetry, Ed. Bruce Weigl, University of Michigan Press, l996.
Among other anthologies, Buckley's work is
included in The Best of Crazyhorse, Univ. of Arkansas Press, l990; The Forgotten
Language: Contemporary Poets and Nature, Peregrine Smith, 1991; A New Geography of
Poets, Univ. of Arkansas Press, 1992; the Bread Loaf anthology, Poems For A Small
Planet: Contemporary American Nature Poetry, University Press of New England, l993, Bless
Me Father: Stories of Catholic Childhood, Penguin l994, Atomic Ghost: Poets Respond
To The Nuclear Age, Coffee House Press, l995; The Great Machines, University of
Iowa Press, 1996, Ed. Robert Hedin; The Second Set, Indiana Univ. Press, 1996,
Komunyakaa & Feinstein editors; Verse and Universe: Poems About Science and
Mathematics, Kurt Brown, Ed., Milkweed Editions, 1998.
Buckley has published creative nonfiction in Crazyhorse, Santa Barbara
Magazine, The Denver Quarterly, The Poetry Miscellany, Creative
Nonfiction, Cimarron Review, The New Press, The Lowell Review, Hubbub,
and in the anthologies California Childhood, Creative Art Books, l988, Sarajevo:
An Anthology for Bosnian Relief, Elgin Community College, 1993, and Tales of Santa
Barbara, John Daniel, 1994. His book of creative nonfiction, Cruising State:
Growing Up In Southern California, was published by the University of Nevada Press,
Other awards include a John Atherton Fellowship in Poetry to the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference and an artist's residency at the Ucross Foundation. In 1996 he read
at the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival in Waterloo, N.J.
Growing up in Santa Barbara, California, Christopher Buckley survived Catholic grammar
school, high school, and college. He was a surfer and also made his living many summers
while in school teaching tennis. His first poetry teachers were Glover Davis and Dennis
Saleh, early students of Philip Levine. Later he worked with Diane Wakoski and Peter
Everwine. He lives in Lompoc, CA with his wife the painter Nadya Brown.