About

Hey there. I'm not sure how you got here to my website, but welcome!

Hey there. I’m not sure how you got here to my website, but welcome!

What do I look like? That’s a photo of me above from 2006 in my office.

And yes, I am squatting on my desk, betwixt an assortment of punk flyers and a Queen Hot Space promotional poster.

Scroll down for a more recent image of my large face.

But first: my life story.

My life story

I grew up in Maple Shade, a small town in South Jersey. Exit 4 on the Turnpike. It’s near Cherry Hill. Everyone knows about Cherry Hill.

My dad was a truck driver and my mom a part-time secretary. I write about growing up in Maple Shade and my in my truck driver father in my latest book, Shader.

I went to Catholic school for 12 years. We’re talking altar boy, the sacraments, saying the rosary, the works. I started working when I was 12, first as a janitor’s helper, then a car washer through high school. I bought a lot of records.

I didn’t go far away to college. Rutgers-Camden is about eight miles from my house. I was an English major. I wrote a lot of poems

I lived in Camden for five years, then moved to Philly for a couple lost years before escaping to New York City to attend NYU’s MFA in creative writing program for poetry. I wrote a lot more poems.

After grad school, I kept writing poems, published some, did readings, and eventually, miraculously, published my first book, God Save My Queen, a prose poetry/memoir that includes a piece for every song recorded by the rock band Queen up until 1982. Then I did a sequel, God Save My Queen II.

You might say I’m a big fan.

At some point in there, I started writing essays, more journalism, medical journalism, reviews, interviews and profiles. Oh, I almost forgot: all the while in New York City, I edited literary journals–Painted Bride Quarterly, La Petite Zine, Unpleasant Event Schedule, and McSweeney’s sestinas section.

I’ve worked as a janitor’s helper, a car washer, house painter, library assistant, administrative assistant, proofreader, medical writer, computer help desk minder, tutor, and a few other jobs I’ve forgotten. I fell in love with teaching a little late in the game. I helped teach a creative writing at a halfway house in Camden, NJ as a college senior. I was selected as a Goldwater Hospital Writing Workshop Fellow at NYU and taught workshops at The Lower East Side Needle Exchange. I worked as an adjunct at NYU, Hofstra, The New School. In 2005, I was hired at The College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY. I published a book of poems, The History of My World Tonight, in 2006, a humorous nonfiction, How to Be Inappropriate, in 2010, edited the first-ever collection of sestinas, The Incredible Sestina Anthology, in 2014, and a memoir, Shader, in 2016.

At Saint Rose, I started a successful reading series called Frequency North, serve as founding editor of Pine Hills Review, the college’s literary journal. and worked on more essays and journalism and poems. I’ve edited an anthology of sestinas, a book of poems, and a collection of essays.

That’s my life story. But what about my personal life?

Personal life

I’m not Catholic anymore.

I’m married to Maisie Weissman, an Emmy-nominated music and film editor who has worked with Spike Lee for years and now edits TV shows.

We have two daughters, Miriam and Beatrice, who fill our house with Barbie dolls, drawings, wry sarcasm, and TikToks.

But maybe you’re looking for a more professional, boring third-person writer-type bios?

And now for a series of more professional, boring, third-person writer-type bios

Bio, the shortest version, written in the third person

Daniel Nester is the author of Shader: 99 Notes on Car Washes, Making Out in Church, Grief, and Other Unlearnable Subjects. He teaches writing at The College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY.

Bio, the less short version, also written in the third person

Daniel Nester is the author of Shader: 99 Notes on Car Washes, Making Out in Church, Grief, and Other Unlearnable Subjects (99: The Press, 2015), How to Be Inappropriate (Soft Skull, 2010), and God Save My Queen I and II (Soft Skull, 2003 and 2004), and editor of The Incredible Sestina Anthology (Write Bloody, 2014). He teaches writing at The College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY.

Bio, pretentious version, also in third person

Daniel Nester is an essayist, poet, journalist, editor, teacher, and Queen fan. His latest book is a memoir, Shader: 99 Notes on Car Washes, Making Out in Church, Grief, and Other Unlearnable Subjects. Previous books include How to Be Inappropriate, God Save My Queen I and II, and The Incredible Sestina Anthology, which he edited.

Bio, the less short version, also written, again, in the third person

Daniel Nester is the author most recently of Shader: 99 Notes on Car Washes, Making Out in Church, Grief, and Other Unlearnable Subjects. His previous books include How to Be Inappropriate (Soft Skull, 2010), God Save My Queen I and II, and The Incredible Sestina Anthology, which he edited. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, Buzzfeed, The Atlantic, The American Poetry Review, and the Poetry Foundation website, and collected in Best American Poetry,  Third Rail: The Poetry of Rock and Roll, and Now Write! Nonfiction. He is associate professor of English at The College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY.

Bio, the rather long-winded version, written in the third person

Daniel Nester is the author most recently of the memoir Shader: 99 Notes on Car Washes, Making Out in Church, Grief, and Other Unlearnable Subjects. His previous books include How to Be Inappropriate, a collection of humorous nonfiction, and The Incredible Sestina Anthology, which he edited. His first two books, God Save My Queen: A Tribute and God Save My Queen II: The Show Must Go On, are collections on his obsession with the rock band Queen. His third, The History of My World Tonight, is a book of poems.

As a journalist and essayist, his work has appeared in a variety of places, such as Salon, New York Times, Buzzfeed, The Atlantic, The American Poetry Review, and the Poetry Foundation website, and anthologized in such collections as Lost and Found, The Best American Poetry, The Best Creative Nonfiction, Third Rail: The Poetry of Rock and Roll, and Now Write! Nonfiction. His poems have appeared in such journals as Coconut, Shampoo, Taint, Gulf Coast, Barrow Street, jubilat, Crazyhorse, Open City, Slope, Spoon River Poetry Review, and other places. He is the former editor of the online journals Unpleasant Event Schedule and La Petite Zine and worked as Assistant Web Editor for Sestinas for McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. He is an associate professor of English at The College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY.

Contact information

My primary email address is danielnester [at] gmail [dot] com. That’s the best way to contact me.

If you want to email me at my work address, it’s nesterd [at] strose [dot] edu. My phone number there is 518-454-2812.

To mail something directly to me–books for possible review, mix CDs, random gifts–send it to my address at work:

Daniel Nester
Associate Professor of English
The College of Saint Rose
432 Western Avenue
Albany, NY 12203

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