Atomic Paradise explores the nuclear history and the dawn of the atomic age. This collection of poems focus on the author’s experiences living in New Mexico, a land of incredible beauty, that is in the heart of the nuclear military/industrial complex. Atomic Paradise takes us from the author’s experience growing up in the Cold War, to reflections on the Manhattan Project, and poet/physicist Dr. Robert Oppenheimer. These poems also explore Hiroshima and the dropping of the bomb, the spread of nuclear weapons throughout the world and nuclear tourism, and the fallout of the nuclear industry in New Mexico. The Japanese internment camps in Santa Fe and the Trinity Site are included along with nuclear waste and the environment in the Southwest. Throughout are the author’s personal observations to make this huge topic of the nuclear war and the resulting nuclear industry a bit more human, and very relevant.
What others are saying about Atomic Paradise......
For those of us raised in the shadow of nuclear annihilation – and that is everyone born after the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima – this reality is a terrifying and inescapable one. Jules Nyquist investigates this terrain with imagination and compassion. Of the Titan Missiles, she sees how “normalcy” has replaced the Cold War: “Tourists line up for tickets/ at the museum silo on the highway/ that runs down to Mexico.”Robert Oppenheimer is here, in his atomic Promethean role, as is Trinity Site. So much of this history happened in New Mexico that it benefits from the insights of a New Mexican writer. Important material, beautifully expressed.
— Miriam Sagan, Santa Fe, NM
Jules Nyquist’s Atomic Paradise is a passionate and tough minded collection of poems about one of humankind’s greatest follies and mistakes. In her strikingly clear and authentic voice, Nyquist describes in exquisite detail the lurking world of anxiety that is the principal side effect of the Nuclear Age. For everyone alert to this hidden reality of the 21st century, and its potential to create an atomic Paradise Lost, Nyquist’s poems are essential reading.
— V.B. Price, The Orphaned Land, New Mexico’s Environment Since the Manhattan Project
Atomic Paradise renews and explores the A-Bomb industry beginnings and continuums. It includes Robert Oppenheimer and places of origin, development, tragic use, aftermath and
nuclear energy problems of storage, integral especially to New Mexico. Nyquist's poetry is story telling which brings this alive and with world-wide connections, expanding our essential awareness -- for New Mexico and all points beyond.
— larry goodell, placitas, nm
Atomic Paradise brilliantly captures the dichotomies and contradictions that define the Atomic Age: atomic and paradise; millenarian and apocalyptic; otherworldly and banal. It is a time in which one can, to take the title of one of Nyquist’s most compelling poems, “Build the Apocalypse Inside Your Garage.” Nyquist cleverly interrogates the Christian eschatological implications of nuclear technology in the language of the banal versus the sublime: “It’s only a hobby, to see if it’s possible to be God.” All you need, apparently, is some duct tape and a bit of plastic. This theme of the metaphysical implications of nuclear physics is further developed in lines like this gem about the head of the Manhattan Project: “Oppie was a young scientist following his teacher — a poet called to be a shaman”: Indeed, poets who were called to be shamans who were called destroyer of worlds. Nyquist’s Atomic Paradise challenges us to confront this reality and in doing so brings us to a much more profound understanding of our Atomic Age.
— Scott C. Zeman, Visiting Professor of Humanities and Communication, New Mexico Tech