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Event Details

Michael Salcman and David Bergman in conversation with James Magruder

The Ivy welcomes you for an evening with two Baltimore poets with recent collections: David Bergman, author of PLAIN SIGHT, and Michael Salcman, author of CROSSING THE TAPE! We're lucky too that James Magruder will join both poets in conversation.

Plain Sight is an exquisite book of poems by David Bergman, “a post-modern master of the lyric narrative poem,” according to Daniel Mark Epstein. Now in his 70s, and having lived with Parkinson’s for eight years, Bergman offers up poems about love, chronic illness, friendship and aging parents that constantly surprise us in their twists and turns, their verbal brilliance, and their wit. Ultimately, Plain Sight is a deep celebration of life in all of its pain and grace.

In Crossing the Tape, ekphrastic poems bump up against poems about baseball, about the sad fate of urban areas, about art, about ordinary mortality, and most personally about the horrific murders perpetrated during the Holocaust and other atrocities, as in "The Vanished World of Iryna Abramov," a villanelle set during the Russian invasion of Ukraine: "In Bucha, the flowers grow fat on the graves." This is a collection to be read and read again, and to cherish with each re-reading.

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Books will be available for sale at the event.

David Bergman, who taught at Towson University for 40 years, is the author of three books of poetry, Cracking the Code, which won the George Elliston Poetry Prize, Heroic Measures and The Fortunate Light. He is the author of the studies The Poetry of Disturbance: The Discomforts of Post-War American Poetry as well as Gaiety Transfigured: Gay Self- Representation in American Poetry. His poetry has appeared in The Kenyon Review, The Paris Review, The New Republic, and others. His new book, Plain Sight, will be released in November from Passager Books in Baltimore.

Michael Salcman, poet, physician and art historian, was born in Pilsen Czechoslovakia, a child of the Holocaust and a survivor of polio. The former chair of neurosurgery at the University of Maryland and former president of the Contemporary Museum, he is the author of 200 scientific articles and six medical books. His poems have appeared in such journals as Arts & Letters, Barrow Street, Blue Unicorn, Harvard Review, Hopkins Review, Hudson Review, New Letters, and Raritan with six nominations for a Pushcart Prize and two Best of the Net awards. His book Poetry in Medicine, is a popular anthology of classic and contemporary poems on doctors, patients, illness & healing; collections of Salcman’s own poems include The Clock Made of Confetti (Nominated for The Poets’ Prize), The Enemy of Good is Better and A Prague Spring, Before & After (winner Sinclair Poetry Prize). Shades & Graces: New Poems was the inaugural winner of the Daniel Hoffman Legacy Book Prize (2020); Hoffman was a former US poet laureate (1973). Necessary Speech: New & Selected Poems was published by Spuyten Duyvil in 2022. His sixth and most recent collection, Crossing the Tape, like most of his books, had its debut at The Ivy Bookshop in May. His invited lecture on “The History of Ekphrastic Poetry” was given at the Maryland Institute College of Art.

James Magruder is a fiction writer, playwright, and translator. His most recent work for the stage is Head Over Heels, the blank verse mash-up of Sir Philip Sidney’s Arcadia and the song catalog of the Go-Go’s (Broadway, 2018). His adaptations and translations of Dickens, Marivaux, Molière, Gozzi, Lesage, Labiche, Giraudoux, and Hoffmanstal have been staged at Baltimore Center Stage, across America, and in Japan and Germany.. His Three French Comedies (Yale University Press) was named an “Outstanding Literary Translation” by the American Literary Translators Association (ALTA).

He has published four books of fiction: the Lammy-nominated Sugarless (2009); the linked story collection Let Me See It, (2014); Love Slaves of Helen Hadley Hall (2016; and the linked novella collection Vamp Until Ready (2021). Recent work has appeared in StoryQuarterly, Hopkins Review, Prairie Schooner, and Idaho Review. On deck is a commissioned chronicle of the first fifty years of the Yale Repertory Theatre, titled The Play’s the Thing.

He is a five-time fellow of the MacDowell Colony and a six-time recipient of an Individual Artist Award from the Maryland State Arts Council. He holds degrees in French literature from Cornell and Yale and a DFA from the Yale School of Drama, where he taught translation and adaptation for thirteen years.






Event Details

Thursday, May 16, 2024 - 6:00pm


The Ivy Bookshop - Back Patio, 5928 Falls Road, Baltimore, MD 21209

by Dr. Radut