Last year I simultaneously met a new friend and discovered the amazing body of work of a celebrated poet, Dan Gerber. We bonded over our ability to recite Eliot’s “The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock,” (not your typical dinner party conversation) and our love for nature and wildness. I literally devoured his volumes of poetry, and his musical writing reverberated with me like the wind echoing amidst canyon walls—his poems have a mighty force, yet invite contemplation with their delicate grace.
If it’s any indication of his style, or my reverence for his talent, his books occupy a coveted place in my poetry bookshelf, right next to Jim Harrison, Robinson Jeffers and not far from Gary Snyder. A small sampling of a couple of my favorite lines: “Tonight the sky is holding its breath,” or “…that what we still long for/longs to be let go,/like that fleeting but unmistakable flavor in the air/just before it starts to rain.”
Dan is a prolific and diverse writer. He has authored eight books of poetry, and his poems have appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry, and Best American Poetry. He has also written a nonfiction account of the Indianapolis 500 automobile race, in Indy: The World’s Fastest Carnival Ride (1977), several novels, including Out of Control (1974) and A Voice from the River (1990), and a short story collection, Grass Fires (1987). Of his work across genres, Gerber told Contemporary Authors, “In poetry as well as prose, I feel less a creator than an instrument of experience. I write what presents itself to me as necessary.”
On November 10 at 2:00 pm at The Karpeles Manuscript Library in Santa Barbara, Dan will give a reading of his poetry and sign copies of his new book, Sailing Through Cassiopeia. He’ll also be signing books in Solvang at The Book Loft on November 28.