Salerno couches his wisdom on indecision. The reader on the other hand, knows better. Salerno isn’t picking one thing or the other from poem to poem to “charge right into,” but both. Because Whirligig gives us the sense that there is nothing Salerno will avoid, we can only hope that his are “the laws that [will] govern our listening” for decades to come.
Chris Tonelli, Redivider Magazine
“Make it new” Pound said, and Christopher Salerno does, though the playfulness, wit and surprises in these poems remind me of the “mid-career” poets I most admire: Denise Duhamel, Tony Hoagland, Dean Young. . .“We're alone in our best visions” Salerno says but, as always, the best visions of the poet offer readers new ways of seeing. Whirligig is one of the most distinctive first books of poems I've read in decades.
Ed Ochester, Editor, Pitt Poetry Series
A reader's observations regarding the nature of these poems is that they contain a wonderful capacity to incorporate unpredictability, humor, anguish, anxiety, longing, and a feisty note of confusion and survival...Poems that are not wedded to literal and linear meaning of experience but to the imagined and circular meanings and play. Whirligig is consistently attentive to an edgy playfulness and serious mindfulness, continuing dialogue with matters of faith through failings of identity and belief in self and others. The poems carry the musical moment with an easy sensibility. The
observations ripple and pause with seduction and sensuality.
Jason Shinder, Founder, YMCA National Writers Voice and author of Among Women
In these tight, powerful explorations of the intersections between perception and creation, Chris Salerno is looking for ways to insinuate value into our lives. The poems in Whirligig are informed by intuition, grounded by intelligence and moved by poetic skill. Salerno explores freely and bravely the possibilities of emptiness and longing but never abandons
hope or confidence in language’s ability to give us more than we can always understand. This is an important new voice.
Tom Lisk, Author of Aroma Terrapin
Christopher Salerno was born and raised in New Jersey and currently lives in Raleigh, NC. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in journals such as: Colorado Review, Jubilat, Electronic Poetry Review, AGNI-online, Spinning Jenny, Forklift Ohio, LIT, GoodFoot, Barrow Street, River City, Carolina Quarterly, and in the anthology, “The Bedside Guide To No Tell Motel." He currently teaches in the English Department at North Carolina State University.