February 1st, 2014

There is something impossibly quixotic about this “project” of ritualizing through the lyric poem the grand narrative of the cosmos—The Creation, rich with its improbable math, its spiritual mysteries, and its unquestionable intimations of mortality.  But Nick Courtright leaps in with the reassuring gifts of musicality and deftly handled language on his side to produce a work replete with doubt, faith, science, unbelief and humility.  The illumination in Let There Be Light is not found in the answers given, but in the humanity of asking tough questions beautifully and truthfully.  This is, in the end, the meaning of enlightenment, and, evidently, compelling verse. ~Kwame Dawes

“Every life/has its own light” writes Nick Courtright, and the light of his dazzling poems is a continual surprise and a revelation. ~Naomi Shihab Nye

Let there always be Nick Courtright, whose truly stellar new book of poems proves once and for all that beyond the event horizon and all the churning dark matter is a whole new matter, an even bigger Big Bang, a blindingly (in)human new light forever. ~Matt Hart

Here are poems moving from “the immensity of the galaxy” to “the smallness of the human soul.” Here’s Courtright, framed in the half-light of Plato’s Cave, prying open Pandora’s Box with Occam’s Razor to pull out the dominion of Stevens’ Jar. You can flip the switch as often as you like, but you can’t turn off the illumination. Besides, now it’s your job to tell the rest of the world what they’ve been missing: Get to work! God knows these poems have been there all week already. ~Noah Eli Gordon