Paul Nemser Tales of the Tetragrammaton

ISBN 13: 9781936419432

Tales of the Tetragrammaton

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9781936419432: Tales of the Tetragrammaton
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Poetry. Jewish Studies. With TALES OF THE TETRAGRAMMATON, poet Paul Nemser reaches into his own childhood memories to explore the mystery at the heart of ordinary life. It is at once an evocation of a Jewish family's life in suburban Portland, Oregon in the 1950's, with its bowling alleys, formica countertops, and TVs, and a search for meaning and transcendence in the spirit of Jewish mysticism—as if Borges had become a writer for Sid Caesar, or Kafka were the act following the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show. Images cascade, paradoxes loom. Hovering over the ordinary world is the mystical name—the regulator of all events, the font of all language, the curator of the impossible, the determiner of lives and deaths, the ruler of all that is.

"This wonderful book is about language as it creates the world, told in strawberry blintzes and the grinding of gears as the bus goes up a hill. The poet, Paul Nemser, is one of my favorites, for his lyricism and fiery strangeness, his mudslides, olives and jelly jars containing the name of God."—Valerie Stivers- Isakova

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About the Author:

Paul Nemser was born in Portland, Oregon. He received an AB from Harvard College, an MFA from Columbia University, and a JD from Boston University School of Law. In school he studied writing with amazing teachers, among them Robert Lowell, Elizabeth Bishop, and Stanley Kunitz. Nemser's book Taurus won the New American Poetry Prize and was published by New American Press in 2013. In the 1970s he co-translated two books of Ukrainian poetry: Antonych, Square of Angels (Ardis) and Drach, Orchard Lamps (Sheep Meadow). The Drach book, edited by Stanley Kunitz, won a PEN Translation Award. Nemser's poems and translations have appeared widely in magazines. He lives with his wife Rebecca in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Harborside, Maine.

Review:

This wonderful book is about language as it creates the world, told in strawberry blintzes and the grinding of gears as the bus goes up a hill. The poet, Paul Nemser, is one of my favorites, for his lyricism and fiery strangeness, his mudslides, olives and jelly jars containing the name of God. --Valerie Stivers-Isakova

Praise for Paul Nemser's Taurus winner of the 2011 New American Poetry Prize. Taurus is surreal and visionary, experimental and traditional, lyrical and narrative-all at the same time-and it is always strange and strangely compelling. In language that is vivid, fresh, and often startling, the book sets the myth of the abduction of Europa by Zeus against the demimonde of contemporary St. Petersburg. As it unfolds, the retelling becomes a metaphorical examination of the geo-political confusions of contemporary Russia-a love story on one hand and a story of desire on the other. --Andrew Hudgins

Praise for Paul Nemser's Taurus winner of the 2011 New American Poetry Prize. Taurus is the most accomplished first book of poetry that I have encountered in the new millenium. It is moving, tortuous, tragic, but without a trace of the tragic mask. There's no denial in Taurus of the bleakness of our collective reality after September 11, but the imaginative energy has been channeled, converted, toward overcoming every immediate obstacle that stands in the way of a deeper revelation, which allows the language to ascend amazingly to a spiritual plane. --Mark Rudman

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