Obscenely Yours

Obscenely Yours


Angelo Nikolopoulos

San Francisco Book Festival 2013, Honorable Mention

26th Annual Lambda Literary Award Finalist

“This is not just a great first book but a great book. Period.”
The Kenyon Review Online

April 2013

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Photo © by Star Black

Angelo Nikolopoulos received a BA from the University of California, Berkeley and an MA in Creative Writing and Literature from New York University. His poems have appeared in The Best American Poetry 2012Best New Poets 2011Boston ReviewThe Los Angeles ReviewThe New York QuarterlyTin House, and elsewhere. He is a winner of the 2011 “Discovery”/Boston Review Poetry Contest and the founder of The White Swallow Reading Series in Manhattan. He currently teaches at Rutgers University, New Brunswick and lives in New York City. Photo © by Star Black

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Additional Praise:

Obscenely Yours lives up to its title. . . Virtually every poem in this book explores the body and its grim needs, but this theme never becomes monotonous. . . . Angelo Nikolopoulos  is clearly a poet of the soul every bit as much as a poet of the body.”
The Antioch Review

“. . .what Nikolopoulos is about here is not (or not only) the pain of knowledge, but its pleasure, and not of knowledge merely, but of experience. And if indecency abounds, as indeed it does, these poems are about the resolute refusal to repress it, indeed, the commitment to insisting upon it. It is this insistence to which the book’s title ultimately gestures, convinced that its minutely enumerated indecencies belong not only to the poet, but to the reader as well, not obscenely mine only but also obscenely yours.”
Coldfront Magazine

“[Obscenely Yours has] a broad daylight kind of sexuality that is presented tenderly, experimentally, sardonically, in a way that is completely original and yet must also be read as an homage to a generation of gay poets that came before it.”
Los Angeles Review of Books

“Nikolopoulos writes the poems that lurk in all of us. . .”

“[Obscenely Yours] examines the anxiety of a normalized queer experience. . . . If it isn’t obvious, Nikolopoulos has no reservations about talking about the body nor getting dirty with it.”

“Angelo Nikolopoulos’ debut collection is a masterfully lyrical tribute to gay sexuality. . . [Obscenely Yours] is not defiant, but celebratory, as excited about the pleasures of language as the pleasures of the body.”
Lambda Literary Review

“Nikolopoulos’ poems read as highly sophisticated, choreographed events—scenes, if you will. The first section of Obscenely Yours. . . encourages us to envision [his] poems as cinematic spectacles. Love is like that, cinematic, that is.”

“Nikolopoulos’ debut is careful, sexy. . . . The body, its ecstasy and its shame, is this poet’s obsession, and he observes it with a straightforward awe.”
Publishers Weekly

“Dynamic and dead-on, these poems speak to the urge, the threat, the violent appetite of desire. They also do the hard work of unraveling the question of love—the thing we ‘take on faith…lightly,’ that asks everything and promises only we ‘are not dead.’ Obscenely Yours leads us through the Cineplex of ecstatic language and out into the wilderness of human longing, where we let go the selves we know and become ‘something else entirely.'”
Tracy K. Smith

“These supple poems are at once frank and mysterious, and they explore desire in a way that feels modern and intelligent. An audacious debut, Obscenely Yours is devilishly candid and definitely scandalous.”
Edmund White

“I love Angelo Nikolopoulos’ poems—for their embodied electricity, their sophisticated minimalism, their racy scenarios, their tender-hearted reserve. Obscenely Yours has concentrated allure, achieved through sculpted angles, ideal lighting, and a perfectly choreographed compromise between silence and speech. His lines, loaded with edge and drip and torsion, behave like an action painting tucked into the svelte envelope of a Dickinson-tight line. Inebriate of air is Angelo, whose first book is a wonder.”
Wayne Koestenbaum

Take the body out, this poet is told, as in erase it. But Angelo Nikolopoulos is smart and rebellious enough to bring the body out instead—out of its inarticulate silence, out of its closet. These poems plunge straightforwardly into the heart of sex: the spirit and hope, terror and boredom, the elation and shame and beauty of the thing itself. A divine spirit that indwells in nature and the universe? Where else would it be, Nikolopoulos asks. Obscenely Yours is a thrilling book: crackingly alive, brilliant and absolutely fearless.”
Mark Doty

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More by Angelo Nikolopoulos:

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