poem index


Christopher Salerno

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Christopher Salerno

Christopher Salerno was born on June 13, 1975, in Somerville, New Jersey. He received an MA from East Carolina University and an MFA from Bennington College.

Salerno is the author of Sun & Urn (University of Georgia Press, 2017), winner of the Georgia Poetry Prize; ATM (Georgetown Review Press, 2014), winner of the Georgetown Review Poetry Prize; Minimum Heroic (Mississippi Review Press, 2010), winner of the Mississippi Review Poetry Prize; and Whirligig (Spuyten Duyvil, 2006).

In the judge’s citation for the Georgetown Review Poetry Prize, D. A. Powell writes, “Salerno rifles through our empty wallets to show how much we’re missing. These poems are mystical transactions of body and soul, as dark as Faust and as illuminating.”

Salerno has also received a fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. He currently serves as an editor at Saturnalia Books and teaches at William Paterson University. He lives in Caldwell, New Jersey.


Sun & Urn (University of Georgia Press, 2017)
ATM (Georgetown Review Press, 2014)
Minimum Heroic (Mississippi Review Press, 2010)
Whirligig (Spuyten Duyvil, 2006).

by this poet


It’s summer here so soda pop and blue
jeans in the trees. I am peeling
my sunburn on a bus bound for Saratoga
Springs where I will lob my father’s
ashes on the line where the racehorses
finish one at a time, and as they do,
the mist of a million particles
of ash in the air, all


It is important to face the rear of the train
as it leaves the republic. Not that all
departing is yearning. First love is
a factory. We sleep in a bed that had once
been a tree. Nothing is forgot.
Yet facts, over time, lose their charm,
warned a dying

The bakery’s graffiti either spells HOPE
or NOPE. But hope and results
are different, said Fanny Brawne to her Keats
voiding his unreasonable lung.
Getting off the medicine
completely means light again
blinking to light. Device returned
to its factory settings. The complete black