Dr. Jim Nicosia is a writer, scholar and children's literacy advocate. He teaches American literature, Grammars of English and Young Adult Literature at Montclair State University in New Jersey. He is a reviewer for Voice of Youth Advocates, and, though a self-professed reluctant reader, he has rarely met a book that was worth nothing. He is a regular participant at teachers', students', and teachers-to-be conferences in New Jersey and (mostly) the Northeast. He has written and presented papers on writers as diverse as Andrew Smith, Jon Scieszka, Jason Reynolds, Mario Vargas Llosa, Flannery O'Connor, Jim Benton, Lauren Child, Alex London, and Megan McDonald.
Jim regularly speaks to teachers and young readers about invigorating their reading lives. The conferences he has arranged with Laura Nicosia have featured world-class authors, so pay attention to this page for updates.
He is currently enjoying student-centered discussions of middle-grade nonfiction (giving away free books, too!).
Jim Nicosia and Jason Reynolds discussing Reynolds' writing before the former introduced the latter.
Arvin Ahmadi, Gayle Foreman, and Jim Nicosia discussing their creative processes at the Montclair Literary Festival.
Jim Nicosia (proudly) introducing Benjamin Alire Saénz to students at Montclair State University.
Yvonne Ventresca, Alex London, Sarah Beth Durst, Josiah Bancroft, Laura Nicosia, and Jim Nicosia at the 2018 Montclair Literary Festival.
e.E. Charlton-Trujillo holds court with Dr. Laura Nicosia's and Dr. Jim Nicosia's students at Montclair State University.
Laura Nicosia, Bruce Coville, and Jim Nicosia
at the Montclair Literary Festival.
Who wrote this book, and why?
Jim Nicosia is proud to say he wrote this book—one of only three written on Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Mark Strand (he also contributed to the second). It's probably not for you unless you've been reading poetry for at least, oh, a year.
Maybe when you're in high school, you'll read a poem by this really good poet named Mark Strand. And you'll find out he was one of the best poets of our time. And then you'll want to read more about his poetry, because you'll want to understand it better. And then you'll find out there's only one book that discusses all of his best poems. And then you'll realize that book was written by one "James F. Nicosia." And then you'll say, "That name sounds familiar." And then one day, after you've bought that book, you'll be eating an ostrich burger and some peanut soup and suddenly it will come to you: "Hey, I wonder if James F. Nicosia is the same as Jim Nicosia." And you won't really know for sure, because you'll have forgotten all about this page, but something about the book will tell you it is.
But you'll like that book anyway.
Too often today, people are induced into believing that there are hard-and-fast rules to leveling reading, when the truth is, there are as many "reading levels" as there are readers.
With that in mind, don't limit yourself (or your children or students) to a certain area of the library or bookstore.
Jim & Laura Nicosia recently completed this book on John Steinbeck's The Pearl, but it isn't only for adults. In fact, Steinbeck was one of Jim's first favorite writers.
The book at the left represents the longest project Jim and Laura Nicosia have ever (or likely will ever) create.
As our publisher says:
"This new title brings together overviews and in-depth analysis of hundreds of American women writers, from Colonial America to present day. This work concentrates on women writers of literature, including novels, short stories, poetry, and drama....
"Each of the 400 essays includes a personal biography and a summary of works, with valuable top matter details and further reading sections. The volume includes reviews and excerpts of the writer's most acclaimed works to give the researcher a unique, comprehensive perspective."
We're learning more about American women writers than we ever imagined, and it's an exciting thing!