Since publishing my first collection of poems, Why Speak? (2007/8 W.W. Norton) (scroll down for more info), I have been working on writing and finalizing my new book of poems, Eye Exam. Poems in this collection have appeared or are forthcoming in The New Republic, The Yale Review, American Poetry Review, The Massachusetts Review, The Common, and many other periodicals.

The Academy of American poets featured my poem "Move to the City," for their Poem-A-Day program earlier this year. Click icon below to read:


poets org


In April of 2013 I was awarded a Fellowship at Hawthornden Castle International Retreat for Writers—an unforgettable and transformative experience, and where I was able to finish the first draft of Eye Exam.








Why Speak? (W.W. Norton) is now available in hardcover and paperback. Poems in this collection have appeared in Grand Street, The Massachusetts Review, The New England Review, The New Republic, The New York Times Book Review, Open City, The Paris Review, Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, TriQuarterly, Western Humanities Review, Witness, and The Yale Review.


"[Nathaniel Bellows's] poems tell stories, but the book’s power depends on the slow accumulation of an inner world: “Who knows what / to make of that moment?” he asks in the title poem...The stories are gripping...."

James Longenbach,
July 22, 2007, The New York Times Book Review


"It should come as no surprise after reading this debut collection that Bellows is an artist who works in various media, as committed to the visual arts and music as he is to the written word. His poems are intensely visual, and the long, daring lines enjamb with an intricate music. It is the stories, though, that make Bellows's work special. In an age more given to the lyric voice, his poetry is unapologetically narrative, offering richly drawn accounts of moments in time. Even a series of five ekphrases, after illustrations by Howard Pyle, are full of his own people, places, and stories. Numerous other paintings are enlisted for these poems, as are the music of the symphony, memories of childhood piano lessons, and the curious birdsong of the city: "at once their convoy lifted/and I was surrounded, all around me they exploded,/open and closed/like books." A smart and powerful debut; recommended for contemporary American poetry collections."

Library Journal, 2007


"Nathaniel Bellows's first collection of poetry is a vivid book which seems sadly beautiful throughout."

Bookslut, 2007


"Nathaniel Bellows has no other voice but his...it is existential thought where all consciousness is connected, and language makes the relationship with the world...the book's strategy is wonderful. A cause for silence is made by the title poem, and yet what we want more than anything is to hear his voice."

The Montserrat Review, 2007



"Elegy" (The New Republic, October 17, 2005)

"Harm's Woods" (The New York Times Book Review, February 17, 2002)

"Work" (The Yale Review, January 2001)





Poems of New York, (Everyman's Library 2002), includes my poem, "Liberty Island," which originally appeared in Issue # 162 of The Paris Review.