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Author Biography


Articles & Reviews

Fires of Heaven: Poems of Faith and Sense

by James B. Nicola

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In his previous full-length collections, poet James B. Nicola has taken readers to New York City, backstage at the theater, and into the world of art and artists. Now the destination is of another order, the very Fires of Heaven, where a soul may smolder not only from blind faith but also through questioning contempla­tion and searing skepticism. By journey’s end, the reader comes full circle, as this sequence of “religious” poems (or are they?) aims to achieve precisely what the etymology of the word religion suggests, linking us once again to divine creation, to the miracle of everyday existence, and, perhaps even more urgently, to each other.
POETRY / General

ISBN: 978-1-951651-45-9 (print; softcover; perfect bound)

LCCN: 2020950741

148 pages

Author Biography

James B. Nicola is the author of five collections of poetry. His decades of working in the theater as a stage director, composer, lyricist, playwright, and acting teacher culminated in the nonfiction book Playing the Audience: The Practical Guide to Live Performance, which won a Choice award.


“There is wise whimsy in James B. Nicola’s Fires of Heaven; he employs a variety of formal techniques—couplets, terza rima, triple rhymes, rhymed quatrains—and forms, mostly sonnets, to playfully examine what we know, and do not know; his poems look at how our human forms of knowing—philosophy, religion, science—often distort an unknowable God and faith. His ‘fires’ often strip away too easily held beliefs to get at an unimaginable stillness and mystery which can help us see ourselves more clearly and humbly—as limited beings with the unlimited potential to improve and love one another. A pleasure to read.”
—Robert Cording

Articles and Reviews

Benjamin Schmitt, “Fires of Heaven,” At the Inkwell, May 2021

Andrew Barber, “Review of Fires of Heaven,” Pulsar Poetry Webzine, June 2021


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