Today's poem is "New Year"
from Winter Light

The University of Evansville Press

Alfred Nicol worked in the printing industry for twenty years after graduating from Dartmouth College, where he received the Academy of American Poets Prize. He has published work in Contemporary Poets of New England, and appears in many journals, including Commonweal, The Formalist, New England Review, Crisis, Rattapallax and Atlanta Review.

About Winter Light:

"It is tempting to describe Alfred Nicol as a 'poet's poet,' because he uses language with a grace so effortless that it creates the illusion of having arranged itself, by itself. But Nicol is much more than a poet's poet; he is also a reader's poet, and his work, though dazzling, is not intended to simply dazzle but to convey, with charm and profundity, the experiences of our common life. These are poems that seem to — reverse the famous Frost dictum: they end in delight that the reader finds on the printed page, but clearly they begin in the wisdom that sees clearly all of what it sees, and is compelled by honesty to say so."
—Rhina P. Espaillat

"I met Alfred Nicol when we were both young, he as a poet, I as a teacher. Back then Nicol was keen on the Beats, and I had a poetic hero or two among that diverse clan myself. How different an aesthetic Nicol shows in the splendid Winter Light, as canny and moving a formalist collection as I have seen in years, in a league with the likes of R. S. Gwynn; yet how gratifying that this poet's work loses none of its early fire. The energy of youth, the wisdom of maturity: what poet could long for a better combination, the one this terrific book epitomizes?"
—Sydney Lea

"I have admired the poetry of Alfred Nicol for many years, and it was a deep pleasure to read Winter Light. In keeping with the title, poems in this collection burn with a cool radiance. Nicol is naturally drawn toward the affirming limits of formal poetry, but there is an uncanny freedom in this work — a willingness to take large emotional risk, writing about the most basic human emotions with an icy clarity. On every page Nicol exhibits a genuine largeness of spirit and grace of mind. His techniques are well-honed. This is certainly among the finest new volumes of poetry I have read in years."
—Jay Parini

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