Nicholas Samaras's background is multinational and multicultural. He is from Patmos, Greece (the “Island of the Apocalypse”) and, at the time of the Greek Junta (the “Coup of the Generals”), was brought in exile to be raised further in America. Holding dual citizenship (birthplace in England and a naturalised American citizen, being born on an American Air Force Base), he has lived in Greece, England, Wales, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Austria, Yugoslavia, Jerusalem, thirteen states in America, and he writes from a place of permanent exile.
His first book of poetry, Hands of the Saddlemaker, received the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award and is available from Yale University Press, currently in its fourth edition. Reflecting his international focus, Survivors of the Moving Earth was published by Poetry Salzburg in 1997. He edited To the Country of that Spirit: Selected Poems & Essays of Alexandros Gialas (a.k.a. G. Verites), and wrote the Introduction to the collection, published in Greece and Korea (1998). His most recent book is American Psalm, World Psalm, from Ashland University, Ohio/Ashland Poetry Press, 2014.
A student of Classical languages, he is fluent in Modern Greek, and academically proficient in Ancient and Hellenistic Greek. His literary professors have been Anne Sexton (Boston, 1973), Robert Lowell (Harvard, 1975), Stanley Kunitz, Joseph Brodsky, Derek Walcott, Jorie Graham, Philip Levine, Richard Howard, Stephen Dunn, Daniel Halpern (Columbia, 1983-85), and significant others.
With earned degrees from the University of Denver (Ph.D) and Columbia University (MFA), Samaras has taught at Columbia University, the University of Denver, and the University of South Florida, was a ghost-writer and editor for The Ugandan Democratic Party in Exile, against the political reign of Idi Amin, and has been the recipient of numerous awards, among which have been The Lilly Endowment, Inc. Fellowship (2004-2005); The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Poetry Fellowship (1997-98); the Colorado Center for the Book Award Poetry (1992); The Academy of American Poets Award (1992); and State Literary Fellowship Awards from Florida (2002, 1997), Colorado (1994) and New York (1986). He has served as a director of the Writer’s Voice Project Programs for the Tampa Metropolitan YMCA (national headquarters New York City), responsible for directing their Writers’ Series and Reading Series, and has served as an Associate Editor for national magazines. His individual poems have been featured in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Paris Review, Poetry, The New Republic, and Kenyon Review.
Currently, Samaras serves as the Poetry Editor for The Adirondack Review, is a faculty member/mentor for the Kahini Writers Group (www.kahini.org), and lives with his family in West Nyack, New York, located on the New York/New Jersey border, twenty miles north of Manhattan.
Books available from Poetry Salzburg:
Nicholas Samaras. Survivors of the Moving Earth, 1997. 76 pp. ISBN-13 978-3-7052-0101-9
£10.00 (+ 2.00 p&p), €10.00 (+ 2.00 p&p), US$ 12.00 (+ 3.00 p&p)
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