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Nathan returns to home ground to introduce debut poetry collection

September 12th, 2023

Jesse Nathan headshot, black-and-white

Jesse Nathan has been writing and publishing poetry for years, but his first book of poetry has just been released, and he’ll be introducing it at Bethel College.

Nathan will speak in convocation Sept. 18 at 11 a.m. The public is invited; the venue is Krehbiel Auditorium in Luyken Fine Arts Center.

Nathan was born in Berkeley, Calif., and now lives in Oakland and teaches poetry and literature at the University of California, Berkeley. However, he grew up in rural McPherson County, where his parents still live, and graduated from Bethel College in 2005.

Eggtooth, Nathan’s highly anticipated debut poetry collection, was published this month by Unbound Edition Press.

It’s an account of growing up queer in rural Kansas, then leaving that life for the challenges and thrills of San Francisco. Robert Haas wrote the foreword, his first for a debut book. 

Nathan’s poems and other writing have appeared in the New York Review of BooksParis ReviewKenyon ReviewThe Yale ReviewThe Nation and American Poetry Review, among others. His translations have appeared in PoetryMantis and Poetry International

His work has been supported by fellowships from Bread Loaf, the Ashbery Home School, the Kansas Arts Commission and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

His interviews with writers are included in the series “Short Conversations with Poets,” published by McSweeney’s, and he is a founding editor of the McSweeney’s Poetry Series.

With Ilya Kaminsky and Dominic Luxford, he edited In the Shape of a Human Body I Am Visiting on Earth: Poems from Far and Wide (McSweeney’s, 2017).

Nathan has a Ph.D. in literature from Stanford, and is currently a lecturer in the English department at UC Berkeley.

Bethel is a four-year liberal arts college founded in 1887 and is the oldest Mennonite college in North America. Bethel was the first Kansas college or university selected for the American Association of College & Universities’ Institute on Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation, in 2021, and has been named a TRHT Campus Center. For more information, see

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