Dan Gerber is the celebrated author of three novels, numerous essays and short stories, and eight books of poetry, most recently A Primer on Parallel Lives and the newly-released Sailing to Cassiopeia, both from Copper Canyon Press. With unusual grace and precision, his poems ask us to attend to those seemingly ordinary
experiences that punctuate our lives and can stir our deepest reserves of wisdom and understanding. Rain Taxi has praised the way he “tenderly reels his readers through
the ‘beautiful movie’ he calls the passing of time on earth in a language completely unadorned and Zen-like in its quietude."

As Gerber himself reflected, “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.” This openness has led him to explore galaxies and consciousness, tenderness and violence. With playful curiosity and care, Gerber seamlessly joins anecdote, autobiography, and a wondrous eye for the natural world in his poetry, travelling from the periphery to the core. “The purity of his language and the sharpness of his attention,” declared W.S. Merwin, “present landscape, event, and feeling as one.” Annie Dillard wrote of Gerber’s work: “There's a penetrating and sometimes quirky sensibility at work here, handling violence and beauty with equal respect. In an unembellished language that calls our attention to the world and to its beings rather than to its own virtuosity, these poems credit the reader with intelligence and feeling and ring clear against an essential backdrop of silence.”

Born in western Michigan, educated at Michigan State University, Gerber’s careers reflect his wide-ranging interests: he has worked as a professional racecar driver, a high school teacher, a journalist, and a corporate executive. He traveled extensively as a journalist, particularly in Africa, and has lectured, read, and taught at numerous colleges, universities, libraries, schools, and museums throughout the United States and England. With Jim Harrison, Gerber co-edited the literary journal Sumac, and he has served as writer in residence at Michigan State University and Grand Valley State College. Gerber’s work has been included in The Best American Poetry series, and he is the recipient of a Michigan Author Award and the Mark Twain Award for Distinguished Contributions to Midwestern Literature. He lives with his wife in the Santa Ynez Valley of


Poems by Dan Gerber





    Poetry Center Reading:
    Fall 2012