Martin Nakell

cover art by Walter Markham


ISBN  1-933132-02-7   $10.00     98 pages

“Outside of human consciousness is there an issue?" Making "a poetics of spaces," Nakell in a middle space empties identity of one into "we" (or "you" who is part of "we").  As rumination, subjects we/you and volcanic eruptions, sunsets, or rain have the same relation to that space as would notes of music. Rather than negation, lines-thought is substitution, as if mathematically substituting sunset for human consciousness on which the sunset is predicated: "To conceive of the fact that no issue may exist outside of human consciousness/is a concept within the framework of human consciousness."

For the impalpable or impossible, he substitutes our language: "There is no such thing as a tangent to still air."

        Leslie Scalapino



The forms that inhabit this startling and endlessly inventive book are the complex and often contradictory structures of our deepest ideas, drives, and desires. They are restless forms, constantly shifting and changing, and Martin Nakell’s brilliant, precise language charts their every movement with grace and wit. These poems are living things, and they will continue to expand as they reach each reader’s own DNA.

     Christopher Reiner

Martin Nakell : The Myth of Creation (Parentheses Writing Series), a chapbook of fiction, Ramon, and the novels The Library of Thomas Rivka (Sun & Moon Press) and Two Fields That Face & Mirror Each Other (2001, Sun & Moon Press). Winner of the Gertrude Stein Award in Poetry for 1996-199 and an NEA Interarts Grant, he was also a finalist for the America' s Award in Fiction, 1997 (for The Library of Thomas Rivka), a finalist in the New American Poetry Series for 1999.


Nakell has published poetry and fiction extensively in journals, including recent publications of poetry in Proliferations (San Francisco), Ribot (Los Angeles), ReMap (Boston and Los Angeles), and fiction in Literal Latte (New York), Hanging Loose (New York), Hyper Age (San Francisco), Subvoicity (London). Three chapters from Two Fields That Face and Mirror Each Other have been published in literary journals, including Washington Review and Onyx.


He has held fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center, Provincetown (poetry), from the Blue Mountain Center (fiction and screenwriting), from Writers and Books (poetry and fiction), from the State University of New York at Albany; he has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, from Chapman University, from the University of California. He was a panelist for the America Awards in fiction for 1998, a panelist for the Los Angeles Arts Commission in 1999, and serves on the panel of the "100 Most Important Books of the Twentieth Century" for The Encyclopedia of Twentieth Century Literature of The Contemporary Arts Educational Project, Inc. Recently, Visual Poetics, Inc., a Los Angeles film company, optioned three of his short stories (Ramon; Thomas; Monsieur B., the Irish Poet), for a film entitled A Heisenberg Trilogy.


Martin Nakell earned a Doctorate of Arts from the State University of New York at Albany, and is Professor of Literature at Chapman University, and Visiting Professor in Creative Writing at the University of California at San Diego.