Lies of the Poets
Post Traumatic Press, Woodstock NY
2014 ISBN 978-0-9890229-4-1
38 pages $8.00
DOMESTIC: $10, includes postage to USA.
OVERSEAS: $12, includes postage everywhere else.
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“Lies of the Poets” comes from 15 years of writing poetry. Publisher and poet Dayl Wise (Post Traumatic Press) had invited me to submit a chapbook when I felt I was ready for one. After taking a workshop with Billy Collins, who contributed a blurb, and a manuscript workshop at the Woodstock Mayapple Writers’ Retreat, I felt I was ready to go. The book includes all my previously-published poems from magazines and a careful selection of other work. I selected “Lies of the Poets” as the title because it was the one Collins wrote about, and because I liked the title.
Praise for Leslie Gerber’s poetry:
Your poem [‘Lies of the Poets’] is clever and erudite enough to rescue your dubious reputation. – Billy Collins
Your poems are very beautiful. – Charles Baxter, novelist and poet
Sometimes sharply funny, sometimes achingly sad, always wise, precise, keenly observed, Leslie Gerber’s poetry is a richly textured joy to read. – Robert Olen Butler, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain
These poems brim with wit, feeling, shapeliness, connections, and sorrow. This poet loves the world that keeps breaking his heart.– Gail Godwin, novelist
Leslie Gerber is plenty deft at humor, but he’s just as deft at heartbreak, delivering poems so unsentimentally powerful that they rearrange my organs. In his work, domestic violence survivors, a loved one with Alzheimer’s, and a dead child elbow their way through goose poop, shiny physical therapists, and the charming burgs of North and South Beerville. Stitched through these worthy works are language gems: ‘…dog leash in one hand/memory in the other’; ‘Wind blew a woman/away from me’; and (here go my organs) ‘So strange/to think that water hurts/something made to contain it – the way I, meant to contain/your love, am now eroding.’ – Gretchen Primack
For some inexplicable reason poetry leaves me insensitive of all the arts, but just as strangely yours speaks to me. – Janos Starker, cellist
“Lies of the Poets” is on sale at all my readings and various nearby bookshops at $8. For those outside the area, it can be bought for $10 including shipping in the U.S., $12 overseas. Send check payable to Leslie Gerber, to P.O. Box 493, Woodstock NY 12498
“Flesh was not conceived to win.” –Sharon Stonekey
All the bones collapse at last.
Throughout my past
fading has grown
Her fingers pressed
against my spine once drew me in
like herons flying.
I knew the joy I felt
at making her flesh melt would fade. I knew I should
have kept a journal, photos, cards,
but I did not think to make it last
while we were rushing so.
I hope you will enjoy these samples of my writing. Perhaps you might be inspired to inquire about having me write for you. I am actively soliciting new writing jobs, especially ones that pay reasonably well and especially ones that will prove stimulating to write (and to read). You can reach me at:
piano AT parnassusrecords DOT com
P.O. Box 493, Woodstock NY 12498
I was born in Brooklyn in 1943 and graduated from Brooklyn College with a useless degree in Creative Writing. After spending five years as a book cataloguer, I moved to Ulster County, Upstate New York, in 1970, and started Parnassus Records, which published classical LPs and later CDs and and sold used and rare classical LP vinyl recordings and CDs by mail order. The CD publishing business is still in existence, but the mail order business closed at the end of September, 2008.
Along with my record dealing activities, I have long been active in writing music reviews and articles and in classical music radio. I started reviewing records for The American Record Guide in 1964, and then wrote for Fanfare for more than 25 years. I reviewed well over 1500 classical CDs for Amazon. Currently, I am writing reviews and a regular column for Classic Record Collector, and for the Woodstock Times, for which I have written since shortly after it started publication in the early 1970s. I also wrote and narrated reviews for NPR’s “Performance Today” for 2 Â½ years, until the program discontinued all reviews. Examples of these reviews appear on this website.
I was “Classical Music Director” of WDST-FM, in Woodstock, New York, from its beginning in 1980 until 1991. During that time I was privileged to interview such musicians as Aaron Copland, Virgil Thomson, George Walker, Ivan Moravec, Janos Starker, and Sharon Robinson (an interview which took place in a bedroom!). From 1999 to 2002 I produced the series “The Grand Piano” for WMHT-FM in Schenectady, New York. The series was later repeated over KBPS-FM in Portland, Oregon. Examples from that series are posted here on the Podcast page.
I have also written program notes for many years. During the LP era I wrote more than 60 liner notes for CBS (now Sony) Classics, along with a few for RCA and other labels including my own. I have written CD program notes for RCA, Weitblick (Japan), and Arabesque, and also for my own Parnassus label. Examples of these program notes are found on this website. I am also the program note annotator for the Hudson Valley Philharmonic, for which I gave pre-concert talks until the orchestra hired a very articulate music director (Randall Craig Fleisher).
During the past decade I have been writing poetry and have had a few publications and local readings. Examples of that work, along with a couple of rather antique short stories, will be found in the Creative Writing page.
I now live in Woodstock, New York, with my companion of nearly 25 years, Tara McCarthy, herself a successful and prolific writer of educational materials. (She also wrote, under the name Agnes McCarthy, the much-loved children’s book “Room 10.”) We enjoy the company of our dogs Tony (named for Antonin Dvořák) and Fluffy (not named by us!).