Nicholas Samaras's Hands of the Saddlemaker, the winning volume in the 1991 Yale Series of Younger Poets competition, was selected from among 710 entries in this annual competition.
The broad theme of Samaras's poems is the connection between eternal things and the passing world, between our sense of exile and our sense of commonality. Equilibrium between these worlds is achieved only through human feeling, through language. Samaras examines the commonality of experience in diverse international settings—from Byzantium to the cathedrals of technology in the modern cities of America. His language extols the primary delight and purpose of poetry: the music and inventiveness of language, wholly new and transformed, language that is both ancient and modern. Through an intensely personal and visual approach, these poems reveal our lives to us for time to come.
Nicholas Samaras was born in Foxton, Cambridgeshire, England, in 1954. He was raised there and in Woburn, Massachusetts, and later settled in New York. Samaras received his undergraduate degree from Hellenic College, Brookline, Massachusetts, in 1978 and a Masters of Fine Arts in 1985 from Columbia University. He is currently working on his Ph.D. in English and creative writing at the University of Denver. His poems have appeared in such magazines as The New Yorker, Poetry, and American Scholar. Among his honors and awards are a New York Foundation for the Arts Poetry Fellowship in 1986, a Taylor Fellowship for study abroad in 1981-82, and a prize from the Academy of American Poets in 1983.