Jim Nisbet has published twenty books, thirteen of which are novels, incuding Lethal Injection, widely recognized as a classic roman noir. Recent titles include Snitch World and A Moment of Doubt, both released by The Green Arcade/PM Press, and Old and Cold, released by The Overlook Press. Overlook has published two additional Nisbet originals, The Spider's Cage (2012; aka Le Chien d'Ulysse, 1992, Paris), and Windward Passage (2010), and most recently released The Syracuse Codex, the final title in their comprehensive reissue of Jim's backlist, which also includes Death Puppet, The Damned Don't Die (aka The Gourmet), the aforementioned Lethal Injection, Prelude to a Scream, Dark Companion, The Octopus on My Head and The Price of Ticket. Almost all of these titles have been published in French by Editions Payot et Rivages; which editions are accompanied by a gloabal miscellany of translations into German, Japanese, Italian, Polish, Hungarian, Greek, Russian, and Romanian. In Italy, Editore Fanucci has issued Lethal Injection, Prelude to a Scream, Dark Companion, The Damned Don't Die (featuring an additional final chapter), and Death Puppet. In Germany, Pulpmaster has published Dark Companion, Lethal Injection, and The Octopus on My Head, with Snitch World due in 2016.
Nisbet has also published six volumes of poetry: Poems for a Lady, Morpho (with Alastair Johnston), Gnachos for Bishop Berkeley, Small Apt (with photographs by Shelly Vogel), Across the Tasman Sea, and Sonnets. Two "audio narratives" -- stories told via sound effects -- have been issued under the title The Visitor. (You can listen to both if you click your way into the ARCHIVES and look for The Visitor and The Golden Gate Bridge.) Innumerable individual poems, essays, stories, excerpts and translations have appeared in nearly as many newspapers, magazines and anthologies, offline and on, including (ahem), American Poets Say Goodbye to the 20th Century, Bareknuckle Poet, The Bay Area Reporter, Big Bridge, The Black Draught Journal, Blind Date, The Bolinas Hearsay News, Bombay Gin, Caën, Carbuncle, Cinizas, City Lights Journal, Corriere della Sera, CrimeMag, La Croix, Cosmic Crossroads, CulturMag, Current Diversions, Exquisite Corpse, Formes Policièrers, FourStory.org, Green Level Anthology, Gulliver, Photographer David Perry's Hot Rod Pinups and Hot Rod Pinups II, Inside Story Time, inter se Vols 1 & 2, Le Figaro, La Licorne, Life of Crime, Lost Voices, Measures of Poison, Mike and Dale's Younger Poets, Mixed Up, Namaste, Motherfucker!, das Nashorn, No Difference Here, NoirCon 2014, 2016, 2019, The North Carolina Anvil, Pangolin Papers, Panta, Paris Noir, Plots with Guns ("In Jim Nisbet's Brian´s Story, a pistol concealed in a car serves as a touchstone for a beautifully narrated memory tale of a white-trash kid's revenge against the pusher who sold his older brother a fatal dose of heroin." Publishers Weekly), Poetry Flash, Poetry USA, Polar, Pompeii: Echoes From The Grand Tour, Public Illumination Magazine, The Punctual Actual Weekly, Rendez-vous Á l'Astré, Retort, Rolling Stock, San Francisco Noir ("...a very quirky story........." according to The San Francisco Police Officers Association Journal, 6/08), Shuffle Boil, [the big click], The Stone, Sumus, Temps Noir, Thus Spake the Corpse Vols I & II, Vogue Hommes International, and WET -- not to mention Crow, Raven, and The Turkey Buzzard Review.
Aside from reading and performing his poetry and prose for some fifty years, Nisbet has written and seen produced a modest handful of one-act plays and monologues, including Valentine, Note from Earth, WonderEndz™ SmackVision™ and Alas, Poor Yorick, and himself directed the original productions of most of these works. Note from Earth first saw a stage in San Francisco in 1985, and most recently saw one in Paris in 2014. Jim has thrice taught "Creative Writing" -- with course titles such as Anecdotal Fiction: The Novelist at Work, and Exposition and the Schizophrenic Detail: Arbitrating Fact and Fiction -- at the Naropa University's Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, in Boulder, Colorado -- a foray long since discontinuted. In 1989 Candace Natvig arranged, directed and performed her adaptation of Nisbet's essay, Next to Torture, Art Persuades Fastest with her Choir and Chorus, Music In The Blood (the cast of which included the author), in San Francisco's Theater Artaud. This production was subsequently included in Nisbet's Monologues and Advertisements at Intersection for the Arts for their 1989 "Summer in the City" series. His one-act play, Alas, Poor Yorick was premiered by Chicago's Free Street Theater on August 8, 1992, in conjunction with a revival of Note from Earth. Two months later a musical version of Note from Earth premiered in Thesalonika, Greece, with a cast of 25 singers and dancers under the direction of La Mama's Ozzie Rodriguez, accompanied by a local rock band playing an original score composed and conducted by Kate Dezina.
Over a period of ten years (late 70s - mid 80s), with David Schein and Berkeley's Blake Street Hawkeyes, Nisbet co-produced six Actualist Conventions, marathon performance events presenting a different poet, performance artist, musical ensemble, theater group, dance troupe, martial arts exhibition, or film every 30 minutes for 12 - 48 hours. The 1983 Actualist Convention, for example, presented 44 acts in two days, and it was in the context of this latter event that Bob Ernst performed his 24-hour continuous spontaneous improvisation which stands as a record to this day.
More recently (2002, 2003 and 2005), Nisbet brought his Actualist experience to bear on Three Months of Mondays (in 2005 it was Three Months of Sundays), a series of weekly readings and performances programmed and hosted by himself, co-sponsored by Sweetie's Bar & Cafe and Poets & Writers, Inc. (See NEWS.) Readers included venerable Bay Area -- and beyond -- poets, novelists, playwrights and essayists, including John O'Keefe, Dominic Stansberry, David Meltzer, Sharon Dubiago, Jack Hirschman, Kaye McDonough, Rebecca Solnit, Eddie Muller, Diane di Prima, Joanne Kyger, Don Guravich, Neeli Cherkovski, Al Young, Barry Gifford, August Kleinzahler, Kim Addonizio, Thom Gunn, and Tom Raworth -- totalling some 39 events.
Lately Jim has been presenting bilingual selections from his complete translation of Charles Baudelaire's Les Fleurs du Mal, featuring musician/declamator Kim Gill on the French and Jim on the English, at some twenty-five venues, and counting, in and around San Francisco, including a flash reading as part of the celebration of the 60th anniversary of City Lights Books. Currently, the translations are being serialized, in installments, by Bareknuckle Poet.
Until Septemeber, 2016, Nisbet owned and operated his Electronics Furniture, specializing in the custom design and construction of post-prodution consoles, cabinets and equipment racks, but also including site and construction management and consulting. To review some examples of this and other such work, please visit the Carpentry Department. This latter endeavor engendered the 1991 publication of his sole work of non-fiction, Laminating the Conic Frustum.
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