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ISBN: 978-1-62557-042-0
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Categories Non Fiction

Without Saints

Publication Date: October 2022


“In his visionary memoir-in-essays Without Saints, Christopher Locke freezes the past, covering enforced religiosity, self-destructive habits, his marriage and fatherhood, and teaching.” —Foreword Reviews


“…[an] affecting memoir…a deeply humanist story of community and the salvation found in it.”–Publishers Weekly


Without Saints is a breathtaking journey to rediscover hope between the ruins: Poet Christopher Locke was baptized by Pentecostals, absolved by punk rock, and nearly consumed by narcotics. Like Denis Johnson’s propulsive Jesus’ Son, Without Saints is a brief, muscular ride into the heart of American desolation, and the love one finds waiting for them instead. 


Christopher Locke’s Without Saints is an intimate and lyrical book of essays that begins with vivid and wondrous memories of childhood, into early adulthood’s ambivalence around a worrying drug use, into the intimacies of being a husband and a father. And finally, into two of the book’s knockouts: a beautiful remembrance of the poet and writer, Donald Hall, and a probing look at what it’s like to teach a creative writing workshop inside the walls of a federal prison. Locke’s writing is up close and personal and brave—always revealing, always acknowledging the tenderness and melancholy of living out loud.

—Michael Klein, author of Track Conditions

Haunting and understated, Christopher Locke chronicles the secrets that bedevil every extended family.

— David L . Marcus, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and author of What it Takes to Pull Me Through

About the Author

Christopher Locke

Christopher Locke was born in New Hampshire and received his MFA from Goddard College. His poems, fiction, criticism, and essays have appeared in, among others, The North American ReviewPoets & Writers, The RumpusAnother Chicago Magazine, Poetry EastSmokeLong QuarterlyVerse DailySouthwest ReviewSliceSpillwayARC (Canada), The Literary Review, The SunContemporary Verse 2 (Canada), West BranchRattleAgenda (England), 32 PoemsRhinoSaranac Review, The Stinging Fly (Ireland), The Southeast ReviewBarrelhouseJMWW, The Adirondack Review, and NPR's Morning Edition and Ireland’s Radio One. He won the 2018 Black River Chapbook Award (Black Lawrence Press—2020) for his collection of short stories 25 Trumbulls Road. His new book of poems, Music For Ghosts(NYQ Books), is forthcoming in 2022. Locke received the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Award, and grants in poetry from Fundacion Valparaiso (Spain), the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts. He has been nominated for Best of the Net and The Pushcart Prize many times. Chris lives in the Adirondacks where he teaches English Literature and Creative Writing at North Country Community College.  

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