Nonlinear Equations for Growing Better Olives

Nonlinear Equations for Growing Better Olives

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Praise for the Book

I liked my career in biochemical oncology,
but the nomenclature bored me, lacking
the spice of common names and not conveying
the architecture of discovery and wonder. 

Therefore, Edward Nudelman became a poet. One of the great pleasures of this collection is seeing the natural world as inflected by his scientist’s mind and poet’s heart. The result is a poetry unlike anything I’ve read before. Nudelman’s “architecture of discovery and wonder” reveals, again and again the miraculous and revelatory in the ordinary world around us. He shows us what we’ve missed. And isn’t that why we came to poetry in the first place? Nonlinear Equations for Growing Better Olives is one of the freshest, most bracingly intelligent books I’ve read in a very long time.

George Bilgere

George Bilgere has published six collections of poetry, including The White Museum (2010), which was awarded the Autumn House Poetry Prize; Haywire (2006), which won the May Swenson Poetry Award; and The Good Kiss (2002), which was selected by Billy Collins to win the University of Akron Poetry Award.


Mixing the nomenclature of science with poignant metaphors drawn from the natural world, personal experience and acute observation, Edward Nudelman’s Nonlinear Equations for Growing Better Olives is lit by wings, by fish, by lizards, by trout, by blackbirds and all manner of beings.  A biochemical oncologist, Nudelman’s clinical vocabulary makes a contrapuntal contrast with his accessible imagery as he dives deep into an exploration of the nature of the universe and the complex world around him. Nudelman’s imagery is infused with beauty. In “Unhinged,” he writes, “Morning sun blisters through a window—alpine/rivers fill with trout—the current, a rippling arrow.”  Nudelman is at his finest in lines like, “Archimedes grabbed/a lever, and the Earth/moved an inch off center./Gravity has you by your feet/but your heart remains/a secret in the sway/of cloud and pillar.” I greatly admire his deft use of music in lines like, “I’ve strummed a palm leaf to silence/my mind’s electronic hissing, jettisoned/trigonometry in favor of a few visions/describing the lure of commonplace.”  This unique book of poems strikes all the right chords, making an important addition to any library.  

Pamela Uschuk

Pamela Uschuk’s seven poetry collections include Crazy Love (American Book Award), Blood Flower, and Refugee. Translated into twelve languages, her work appears widely in Poetry, Ploughshares, and other journals. Awards include National League of American PEN Women, prizes from Ascent, New Millenium, & Amnesty International. She is the Editor of Cutthroat Poetry Journal.


About the Author

Edward Nudelman’s full-length poetry collections include: Thin Places (Salmon Poetry, forthcoming, 2025); Out of Time, Running (Harbor Mountain, 2014); What Looks Like an Elephant (Lummox, 2011); and Night Fires (Pudding House, 2009). Poems have appeared in Rattle, Cortland Review, Valparaiso Review, Chiron Review, Evergreen Review, Floating Bridge, Plainsongs, Penwood Review, Poets and Artists, and many more. Awards include: finalist in 2019 Atlanta Review International Poetry Contest (two poems), honorable mention in 2019 Passager Poetry Contest, second place for the Indie Lit Awards Book of the Year (What Looks Like an Elephant), semifinalist for the Journal Award, OSU Press (Night Fires), and a Pushcart nomination.

A native Seattleite, Nudelman is a recently retired cancer research scientist, and owns/operates a rare bookshop (est. 1980) where he lives in Seattle, with his wife, dog, and five ducks.

Paperback: 78 pages
Publisher: Kelsay Books (October 28, 2023)