A Thousand Curves by Paul Nemser

Cover art: Jon Imber, Low Tide, Fifield Point, Pastel on paper, circa 1995
Collection of Rebecca and Paul Nemser

A Thousand Curves by Paul Nemser

Poetry by Paul Nemser


Praise for A Thousand Curves

“Rarely do I encounter a book of poems whose elegance is apparent on so many levels: the titles invite and entice, the dreamlike narrative surprises, the figurative language swims through the book like a school of brilliant fish. Nemser has crafted a dynamic landscape which will keep you turning the pages. This is an excellent collection!” —Kyle McCord, Author of X-rays and Other Landscapes (Trio House, 2019)

In A Thousand Curves Nemser offers us entirely new weather. By turns love song or many-chambered memory palace, these poems dilate with the vivid strangeness of dream. And yes, to enter these poems is to fall under their spell, to delight in their crisp logic and lush inventories, to recognize yourself somehow amongst the oxen and goldenrod, to slip in and out of time, and be part of the story— but perhaps above and beyond the stripped-down music, the devastating precision of language, there is real pleasure in simply keeping company with Nemser’s electric, restless mind. These poems do such generous work by simply inviting the reader to stop, to be wholly alert: “Let’s never count minutes again./ Hardly anything holds longer than lightning.” —Nicole Terez Dutton, Author of If One Of Us Should Fall. Editor of the Kenyon Review.

About the Author

Paul Nemser grew up in Portland, Oregon, where he fell in love with poetry while reading in the storage room in back of his family’s tool store. He received an AB from Harvard College where he studied with Robert Lowell and Elizabeth Bishop, and an MFA in Writing from Columbia University School of the Arts where he studied with Stanley Kunitz and many others. When he asked Kunitz how he could survive as a poet in America, Kunitz gazed up at the sky and, after a long silence, answered,  “The Law.” Three years later, Nemser attended Boston University School of Law and then practiced law for forty years.  His love of poetry has never stopped. 

Nemser’s book Taurus won the 2011 New American Poetry Prize from New American Press. His chapbook Tales of the Tetragrammaton was published by Mayapple Press.  A Thousand Curves first appeared in 2021 from Red Mountain Press, where it received the Editor’s Choice Award. Nemser’s poems appear widely in magazines, including “AGNI”
, “Beloit Poetry Journal,” “The Kenyon Review,”” London Review of Books”, “The Missouri Review”, and “Plume.”  The UK Poetry Society commissioned a short film of his poem “After the Cal, “ which appears on the Society’s website.  Nemser was a co-translator of two books of Ukrainian poetry:  BI Antonych, Square of Angels (Ardis 1977) and I Drach, Orchard Lamps (Sheep Meadow 1978). He lives with his wife Rebecca in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Harborside, Maine.