Brief Interviews with the Romantic Past, Ohio State University Press, 2017
Could Marie Antoinette’s wigs get any higher? Could the anonymous women riding in hot air balloons alone with gentlemen be any more scandalous? Does an Ozark holler hold the mouth to a lost cave with the longest, thickest vein of gold in North America? Brief Interviews with the Romantic Past is a collection of rumors, secrets, tall tales, and lies that begins at the court of Louis XV and ends in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains.
With all the astonishments of history and the intimacy of memoir, Kathryn Nuernberger’s collection juxtaposes peripheral figures from the French Revolution—the assassin, the executioner, the mistress, the spy, the son of a slave, the transgender swordfighter—with the oral histories of poachers, prophets, well witches, and ghosts of the Ozarks a century later. In essays that are equal parts historical and personal, Nuernberger brings the marvelous strangeness of the past into our present moment with wry wit and insight. Nuernberger has an eye for salvaging overlooked snapshots of human decency and moments of moral courage—the memories of which we might just want to save for later.
The End of Pink, BOA Editions, 2016.
Winner of the 2015 James Laughlin Award, Kathryn Nuernberger’s The End of Pink is populated by strange characters—Bat Boy, automatons, taxidermied mermaids, snake oil salesmen, and Benjamin Franklin—all from the annals of science and pseudoscience. Equal parts fact and folklore, these poems look to the marvelous and the weird for a way to understand childbirth, parenthood, sickness, death, and—of course—joy.
“The remarkable designs of a landscape created by Kathryn Nuernberger give us such a stamp of hoof, wonder, and wit— so much wisdom and understanding of what it means to truly fling your body into the world. This is an unforgettable collection of sly-sexy poems of desire, grief, and motherhood, finally offering up the “truth of it, the refracted light and blooming anemones of it, the red/ coral and unfurling starfish of it.” But perhaps the greatest gift from The End of Pink is the insistence of “how very emerald joy is, how very leafed with lapis and gilding”—a passionate aide-mémoire to hold off a surrender to the dark.” -Aimee Nezhukumatathil
“The poetry of Kathryn Nuernberger vibrates with an intense awareness of the strangeness of being a conscious being. Her narration of outlandish scientific experiments and hunting expeditions, along with her contemplation of olds, human mutations, and narwhals, are voiced with that searingly matter-of-fact quality found in fairy tales (more often than not the scary kind)….This is an appealingly unsettling debut of a highly gifted poet.” -J. Allyn Rosser
“This is a poetry of pain and power…whether describing the precise coloration of fruit skin, the contours of memory, or secrets of Fatima which turn out to be “cryptic mumbo jumbo,” Rag & Bonereveals complicated truths with rare eloquence and wit. Whatever the future holds, Nuernberger remembers, even as she beholds the present with blinding intensity. Lyrical and deeply felt, the poems in Rag & Bone track the movement of a sometimes skeptical but always engaged and impassioned mind.” -Jane Satterfield
Praised by his French contemporaries, Stéphane Mallarmé, André Gide, and Paul Claudel, among others, Jammes would become known among the American Modernists as one of their most essential influences. And then, thanks to the vagaries of time and taste, he and his works were forgotten. Known for his masterful imagery and charming frankness, Jammes’ influence can be seen on the New York School and Deep Image poets. In addition to its significance to literary history, Jammes’ work remains as surprising and resonant as when it was first published with acclaim. In this fifth volume of the Unsung Masters Series, published by Pleiades Press at the University of Central Missouri, editors Kathryn Nuernberger and Bruce Whiteman have selected more than seventy pages of representative poetry and prose by Jammes, and they have brought together essays by poets and critics who admire his work. Essays and appreciations by Jaswinder Bolina, Janine Canan, John Gallaher, Christopher Howell, Benjamin Johnson, and Kathryn Nuernberger demonstrate Jammes’ influence on the development of twentieth century poetics and reintroduce readers to an astonishing literary voice worth reading in any time.