The History of My World Tonight
From the author of the critically acclaimed God Save My Queen: A Tribute and God Save My Queen II: The Show Must Go On comes The History of My World Tonight, Daniel Nester’s first collection of poems from BlazeVOX books.
At times hilarious, other times personal and somber, Nesters’ poems embrace all the emotions and places poems can take us, the variety of the human experience. As with Nester’s first two books of lyrical essays on his obsession with the rock band Queen, The History of My World Tonight is also pop culture-obsessed, this time with New York School sensibilities, Confessional self-revelation, and an eye on form only an editor of the sestinas section of McSweeney’s can have.
In his two previous collections (“God Save My Queen” and “God Save My Queen II”), Daniel Nester mused about his idiosyncratic obsession with the rock band Queen. Now, with “The History of My World Tonight,” Nester becomes his own Freddie Mercury as he turns the spotlight on himself. What I like most about this eclectic collection is its unabashed hunger and whipneck pace. Nester gives himself the freedom to write about any subject, in any style, for as long or as little he believes the subject deserves. But under Nester’s sly hand, what could have been a ‘junk drawer’ book of poems instead becomes a stunning Cornell box, a gem of thing to have on a long bus ride, each page honest as it is funny, the book: a wonderful lover letter to this Brooklyn-by-way-of-New-Jersey poet’s life.–Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz
With the publication of The History of My World Tonight, Daniel Nester has proven that he’s an absolute master of what he does; and what he does is dazzle us repeatedly with his elegant, prickly, and wickedly penetrating poems. Reading him is not unlike the greatness of discovering an eagle in a gift bag on your way home from a party: it’s not just great, it’s super freaky great.—Todd Colby
In The History of My World Tonight, Daniel Nester re-envisions The Beach Boys, The Brady Bunch, and the Bible. He takes on the Munchkins, Montale, Monet, and masturbation. But that’s just the beginning. In these intimate confessional and experimental poems, Nester delivers a complex psyche along with deadpan social commentary. This is an engagingly funny and tender book.—Denise Duhamel
We have in Daniel Nester a poet who speaks the language of the common man and woman—well, that is, assuming the common man and woman were gifted with an uncommonly over-the-top sense of humor and an entirely personal sense of what Being a Poet Means to Me. Nester’s working it out here, and it’s a good thing too. Somebody, in this Age of Various Pretentious Schools of Poetry, needs to cut through the shit and clarify why anyone would want to read or write poems at this point in history. And Nester, with his well-documented pop culture leanings and his not-so-well-documented soul-searching, is just the man for the job.—Jonah Winter