Day cracks between the bones of the foot

Furniture Press Books, 2015

(Finalist for the National Poetry Series, Runner-Up for the First Book Award from Cleveland State University Poetry Center, Finalist for the Kinereth Gensler Award from Alice James Books, Finalist for the Subito Press Book Contest, Finalist for the Poets Out Loud Prize from Fordham University Press, and Semi-Finalist for the Brittingham Prize in Poetry from the University of Wisconsin Press)



To have to work toward embodiment, to have to use language to do soJesse Nissim’s marvelous poems take this paradox for granted. Their intelligence is as generous as the word cleave: made of both body and mind and the alleged divide between them, both somatic experience and her verbal rendering of it. This poet bravely pursues adequate language to convey embodied knowledge despite all the forces (including her own will) that would have her reject her body as site of self-sovereignty, insight, and power. “The nonverbal reigns, the poet admits, “despite my effort to word it. Thus though these poems show restraint and deep control at the level of the line, they move with associative wildness and surprise at the levels of image and narrative. The honesty and grace of Nissim’s work lie in how precisely each poem records the “multi-rhythmic/never-ending/wish to write her body without allowing language to betray it.   —Brian Teare, author of Companion Grasses

Where sinew and bone lapse into shadow, Jesse Nissim suggests that the body is “the constant motion of being. This poet’s entanglement with embodiment is impassioned, perplexed, intent. With each iteration, the “body replicates     the body     unfolding. Opening toward resolution? No. When Nissim asks for the body’s address, she is not seeking a location so much as a means of speaking, a directionality that creates relation. The real, in this poetry, is not the empirical. Here, instead, is a tour de force of desire in which the body transcends its mortal limits to become a form of testimony. —Elizabeth Robinson

In her nuanced, magnificent poems, Jesse Nissim sings the body beloved, the body unwell, the body in flux and in motion. I so admire these lines assured sway from the delicate to the brutal and back. There’s a permeability there, a willingness to attend to the spaces between things, to the gaps in our very selves. What a beautiful, urgent book!
—Heather Christle


Nesting Instinct

Nous Zot Press, 2014

House, home,, here then there, Jesse Nissim investigates the pull of domestic spaces. Recuperating the distance between self and object, past and present, sheltered and homeless, Nissim returns us in the potencies of the first place, its walls, its loves, its absences, its lack, recovering, bitter and sweet, the walls of the lost. —Marthe Reed


Alphabet for M

Dancing Girl Press, 2007


Day Cracks Between The Bones Of The Foot

Furniture Press Books, 2013


Self Named Body

Finishing Line Press, 2012

Jesse Nissim writes the various bodies that accompany each of us through time, movement, memory, and desire, recognizing In each body, shards. Hers is a poetry that accepts that fallibility and frailty (detested forms) can reshape themselves to new wisdom (o sudden forms)which is to say that this self-named body dances with the full measure of Lorcas duende. Here, language, like the body, insists on the ultimate imaginative act: I will be made real. —Elizabeth Robinson

These poems are carefulnot to say harmlessdissections of what it is to have a body in the world. That body can fail, can love, can crumble, but reading this chapbook, more than anything I am amazed by how much it can contain. There is so much to discover here, thanks to Nissims astute, particular (and numerous!) eyes. —Heather Christle