Music in Bruce Berger’s poetry is more than subject matter, more than cadence; it is a metaphor for the examined life. In these poems, a man’s transformations are measured by the concerts he has witnessed; the depth of a woman’s life is revealed by an unfinished painting her son attempts to complete; a composer is gauged by his silences. Berger springs secrets from our uninspected common places. With a compression rare in contemporary poetry, and a leavening wit, he draws the reader toward
a subject’s interior through its beguiling surface.
Advance Praise for Facing the Music:
“In his first collection of poems, Bruce Berger faces the music with keen ears and sharp eyes. Insightful and resonant, these poems vibrate with feeling and understanding not only of music but of life, love, and the pursuit of meaning. The voice rings true, the cadences and rhymes are nuanced and subtle, the subjects are at once unique and universal. Facing the Music is filled with poems that speak to the head and to the heart. They leave a lasting resonance.” –Eugenia Zukerman
Bruce Berger’s poems about music and other arts have appeared in the New York Times, Commonweal, Poetry, and numerous literary quarterlies. His prose works on the intersections of nature and culture include The Telling Distance, winner of the Western States Book Award and the Colorado Book Award. While pursuing a B.A. in English at Yale University, he studied piano at the Yale School of Music, has played professionally in the United States and Spain, and has given benefit concerts in Mexico. In 2008 he was sent by the Department of State to represent the United States at the Mussoorie International Writers’ Festival in northern India, followed by a week of poetry readings in New Delhi and Mumbai.