Carson Cistulli

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Carson Harrington Cistulli
Born December 23, 1979
Concord, New Hampshire
Era 21st-century poetry
Region Western Poetry, Postmodernism

Carson Cistulli (born December 23, 1979) is an American poet, essayist and sabermetrician. His works of poetry include Some Common Weaknesses Illustrated, Assorted Fictions, and A Century of Enthusiasm.


Early years[edit]

Concord, New Hampshire

Carson Cistulli was born December 23, 1979, in Concord, New Hampshire, to Philip Cistulli Jr. and Holly Young.[1] Carson passed his early childhood in a middle class Italian-American household until his parents' divorce in 1994.[2] Cistulli attended boarding school at Milton Academy in Massachusetts.[2]


After graduating from Milton in 1998,[3] he attended Columbia University where he studied under poet Kenneth Koch of the New York School of poetry. After his studies under Koch, he moved to Seattle to write.[2] He would later receive a bachelors degree in Classical Civilizations from the University of Montana in Missoula and a master's degree in Creative writing from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.[1]

Panic attacks[edit]

In an essay about sports and aesthetics, "A Lengthy Meditation on Baseball and the Science of Happiness," Cistulli explained that part of his turn towards writing was a therapeutic response to anxiety attacks. Cistulli wrote that these attacks became so intense that he at times struggled to breathe: "During the fall of 2001, while living in Missoula, MT, I began experiencing some symptoms of generalized anxiety: occasional tightness or pain in the chest and limbs, invasive thoughts about death and illness [...] those symptoms persisted off and on into the next spring, at which time I developed a considerably less pleasant one (i.e., symptom): for long periods of time, and with no warning, I was unable to breathe involuntarily."[4]

The Role of Judastulli In The Death of Notgraphs[edit]

Role: Very prominent. Very, very, very prominent. #KeepNotGraphs


Cistulli's work A Century of Enthusiasm begins "People of the world, allow me to introduce myself: my name is Carson Harrington Cistulli, ambassador to crunk in the Western Hemisphere."[5] Carson plays with context and language often mixing the vernacular with the scholastic. References to pop-culture (like the above mention of crunk) and intertextuality with scholastic figures as varied as Ralph Waldo Emerson,[6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15] Sean Casey[16][17][18] or Emily Dickinson[18][19][20] occur frequently in his work. Cistulli also plays with the notions of authorship,[21][22][23] poetic inspiration,[24][25] and recontextualization.[26]

Lisa Baker writes that "In a day and age when we are quick to consume the rigid definitions of relationships fed to us by those who wield power, Cistulli tutors us in language's malleability; a new comparison, an unexpected verb in a familiar phrase can force an entirely new perspective—and perhaps one more curious and more generous."[27]

Essays and journalism[edit]

The New Enthusiast's Shuttlecoque Sporting Club Logo

Cistulli's essays and journalism have appeared in The New York Times,[28] SBNation,[29] FanGraphs,[30] ESPN,[31] The Hardball Times,[32] The New Enthusiast,[33] RotoWire,[34] The Huffington Post,[35] The Classical[36] and The Portland Sportsman.[37] He won the FSWA 2011 basketball sports writer of the year award for his writing at Rotowire[38][39][39] and was elected to the Baseball Writers Association of America in 2012.[40][41]


Cistulli has written that his interest in sabermetrics is to explore "that place where quantitative analysis and aesthetics meet"[42] in practicing what he calls the art[43] of sabermetrical research. Within sabermetrics he is the creator of NERD,[44][45] SCOUT[46] and historical GBz%.[47][48][49][50] Cistulli has influenced many contemporary sports thinkers including Rob Neyer who, asked about the value of Cistulli's work within the sabermetric community, responded "there's value in just about everything that Cistulli does. He's got an original mind and we'll ignore him at our peril."[51]

Electronic Aphorisms[edit]

"Take a daguerreotype, it'll last longer": this was never a popular expression.

Carson Cistulli, "Introductory Aphorism"[52]

In January 2009, Cistulli decided to add "Moral Edification" to his writing at the The New Enthusiast: "in the tradition of Heraclitus, La Rochefoucauld, and Morgan Freeman in most of his later films, we have decided to experiment with that most honored form, the aphorism".[53] In addition to these daily aphorisms he started writing aphorisms for SB Nation in March 2011.[54]

Radio hosting[edit]

Cistulli was previously the host of "Goal: The Soccer Show" (103.3 FM Northampton, MA)[55] and "The Shuttlecoque Sporting Hour" (1450 AM Portland, OR.)[56] He is currently the host of FanGraphs Audio.[57] With FanGraphs Audio he has interviewed, among others, Matt Antonelli,[58] Rob Nelson (inventor of Big League Chew),[59] Dayn Perry,[60] Jesse Thorn,[61] and Rob Neyer.[62]


  • Englished by Diverse Hands (2003)
  • Free Radicals: American Poets Before Their First Books (2004)
  • Some Common Weaknesses Illustrated (2006)
  • Assorted Fictions (2006)
  • Origin, sixth series, Spring (2006)
  • A Century of Enthusiasm (2007)
  • The Prostituesdays Anthology (editor, 2008)


  1. ^ a b Concord Monitor. May 3, 2009
  2. ^ a b c "Cistulli shakes shackles of celebrity". The Advocate. Retrieved 2010-12-01. 
  3. ^ "Notable Alumni: Authors". Milton Academy. Retrieved 2010-12-01. 
  4. ^ I am Trying to Break Your Eyes: A Lengthy Meditation on Baseball and the Science of Happiness Retrieved November 25, 2010
  5. ^ Cistulli, Carson. A Century of Enthusiasm University of Massachusetts Amherst, 2007, p. 1
  6. ^ Cistulli, Carson. A Century of Enthusiasm University of Massachusetts Amherst, 2007, p. 1, p. 19, p. 38, p. 42, p. 46
  7. ^ The Sabermetric Project and The Science of Words Retrieved November 25, 2010
  8. ^ "The All-Joy Team, Observations and First Pick". Retrieved 2010-11-30. 
  9. ^ "Three Ways to Understand Cliff Lee". Retrieved 2010-12-01. 
  10. ^ "Call to Action: Give Money to These Strangers!". Retrieved 2010-11-30. 
  11. ^ "Epigraphs to a Book I Won't Write". The New Enthusiast. Retrieved 2011-01-01. 
  12. ^ "Enthusiast's Notebook: The (Late) Morning After the Night Before". The New Enthusiast. Retrieved 2011-01-01. 
  13. ^ "Ryan Sweeney: We’re Selling Jeans Here". FanGraphs. Retrieved 2011-11-01. 
  14. ^ "RW Emerson on Boston's Theo Epstein Compensation". NotGraphs. Retrieved 2011-10-20. 
  15. ^ "The Other Uses For the Internet". NotGraphs. Retrieved 2011-10-31. 
  16. ^ Cistulli, Carson. A Century of Enthusiasm University of Massachusetts Amherst, 2007, p. 23, p. 29, p. 39, p. 50
  17. ^ The Long Hello Some Notes on Luck Retrieved November 25, 2010
  18. ^ a b Cistulli, Carson. A Century of Enthusiasm University of Massachusetts Amherst, 2007, p. 31
  19. ^ Cistulli, Carson. Some Common Weaknesses Illustrated. Casagrande Press, 2006, p. 23
  20. ^ "All-Joy Team: All the Right Moves and Other Notes". Retrieved 2010-11-30. 
  21. ^ Cistulli, Carson. A Century of Enthusiasm. University of Massachusetts Amherst, 2007, p. 1, p. 6, p. 18, p. 50
  22. ^ Cistulli, Carson. Some Common Weaknesses Illustrated. Casagrande Press, 2006, p. 8, p. 19, p. 36
  23. ^ Cistulli, Carson. Some Common Weaknesses Illustrated. Casagrande Press, 2006, A Note on the Type
  24. ^ Cistulli, Carson. Some Common Weaknesses Illustrated. Casagrande Press, 2006, Imprint
  25. ^ Cistulli, Carson. Some Common Weaknesses Illustrated. Casagrande Press, 2006, p. 14
  26. ^ Cistulli, Carson. Some Common Weaknesses Illustrated. Casagrande Press, 2006, p. 9, p. 10, p. 23, P. 66, p. 70
  27. ^ "Some Common Weaknesses Illustrated". Milton Magazine. Retrieved 2010-12-01. 
  28. ^ Cistulli, Carson (March 22, 2011). "Fantasy Focus: A Socratic Approach". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-03-22. 
  29. ^ "Introducing ... Baseball Nation". SB Nation. Retrieved 2011-04-01. 
  30. ^ Fangraphs Archive: Carson Cistulli Retrieved November 25, 2010
  31. ^ ESPN: Carson Cistulli Retrieved November 30, 2010
  32. ^ The Hardball Times: Carson Cistulli Retrieved November 25, 2010
  33. ^ The New Enthusiast Archive: Carson Cistulli Retrieved May 4, 2011
  34. ^ Rotosynthesis Archive: Carson Cistulli Retrieved November 25, 2010
  35. ^ "Carson Cistulli". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2010-12-07. 
  36. ^
  37. ^ The Portland Sportsman Archive: Carson Cistulli Retrieved November 25, 2010
  38. ^ 2011 Writing Award Winners Announced Retrieved May 1, 2012
  39. ^ a b FSWA Twitter Retrieved January 19, 2012
  40. ^
  41. ^
  42. ^ "USS Mariner: Mariners and NERDs". Retrieved 2010-11-30. 
  43. ^ Fangraphs: The Long Hello Retrieved November 25, 2010
  44. ^ Fangraphs: Introducing NERD Retrieved November 25, 2010
  45. ^ Fangraphs: Introducing Team NERD Retrieved November 30, 2010
  46. ^ "SCOUT: Using Small Samples From the AFL". Retrieved 2010-12-01. 
  47. ^ "Breaking New Grounders: Ground Balls Since 1950". FanGraphs. Retrieved 2011-03-05. 
  48. ^ "Ratios to rates". Inside The Book. Retrieved 2011-03-05. 
  49. ^ "Has there been a change in GB hit at some point in the late 60s?". Inside The Book. Retrieved 2011-03-05. 
  50. ^ "BP Unfiltered". Baseball Prospectus. Retrieved 2011-10-11. 
  51. ^ Chat with Rob Neyer Retrieved November 25, 2010
  52. ^ "Introductory Aphorism". The New Enthusiast. Retrieved 2011-05-29. 
  53. ^ "Selected Aphorisms for the New Enthusiast". The New Enthusiast. Retrieved 2011-06-15. 
  54. ^ "The Opening Day Paradox". SB Nation. Retrieved 2011-06-15. 
  55. ^ "Goal: The Soccer Show 12.4.2006". Retrieved 2011-02-16. 
  56. ^ "The Shuttlecoque Sporting Hour". Retrieved 2011-01-01. 
  57. ^ "Presenting FanGraphs Audio". Retrieved 2010-12-07. 
  58. ^ "FanGraphs Audio: Matt Antonelli, Washington National". Retrieved 2011-02-16. 
  59. ^ "FanGraphs Audio: Rob Nelson of Big League Chew". Retrieved 2011-01-15. 
  60. ^ "FanGraphs Audio: Dayn Perry, Real-Live Book Author". Retrieved 2011-01-27. 
  61. ^ "FanGraphs Audio: Jesse Thorn, King of Most Media". Retrieved 2010-12-07. 
  62. ^ "FanGraphs Audio: Rob Neyer Status Update". Retrieved 2010-12-07. 

External links[edit]