The Broken Night
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In The Broken Night, poet Bruce Wasserman explores touchpoints of the little known and the unknown in conversations with the dead and a roll call of the living, to squeeze out the vibrant essence found within every word. A literary critic for the New York Journal of Books, Wasserman presents a mix of long-a 20-page poem in 13 parts-and shorter format poems ranging from such topics as delivering a breech calf by moonlight in remote rural Minnesota to factory farmed chicken eggs and the consequences for the chickens, from an esoteric view of a 1934 Farmall tractor to an elegy inspired by drifting snowflakes, from wartime dentistry on the front lines in a tent clinic to his grandmother's Yiddish sayings with an application for every aspect of life.
"In the book's elegant long poem... Wasserman uses rich musical pacing to weave in different historical contexts, and thus creates for us a poem that is complex, beautiful and heartbreaking3/4as is this entire book. It celebrates and grieves, and makes space for the reader to experience mystery and awe. 'When good luck comes, ' the poet's grandmother says in Yiddish, 'pull up a chair for it.' This book is our good luck, so pull up a chair and read," says Betsy Sholl, author of House of Sparrows, Otherwise Unseeable, Rough Cradle and Late Psalm. "Bruce Arlen Wasserman's poems speculate into other times and other lives with sagacity and cleareyed...optimism, we'll call it, though they recognize the difficulties and horrors, too. His is a hard-won faith earned in the trenches and on the fences, juxtaposing the bucolic and the pop cultural and the family historical toward beauty, reconciliation, and illumination," says Patrick Madden, author of Disparates, Sublime Physick and Quotidiana.
With an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts, Wasserman's writing has been published in the Proverse Poetry Prize Anthology, The Fredericksburg Literary and Art Review, The River Heron Review, Kindred Literary Magazine, the Broad River Review, Cathexis Northwest Press, High Shelf Literary Magazine, Wild Roof Journal and the Washington Independent Review of Books. He has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, was a semi-finalist for the Francine Ringold Awards for New Writers, a semi-finalist for the Proverse Prize and won the Anna Davidson Rosenberg 2019 Poetry Award.
"We see the personal become universal," says Richard Jackson, author of Where the Wind Comes From and Broken Horizons, "as we begin to participate in each turn of phrase which is also a turn to a new perception. 'Life is a series / of patches, sometimes / held tight with glue / other times with stitches / faint traces, even / a single thread, ' and the single thread here is a strong voice that is empathetic as it reaches across time in the tour de force poem, "A Loss of Terms" that climaxes this terrific book. From farm life to army life to the cosmos Wasserman takes us on a journey that is as unique as it is important."
Finishing Line Press, 9781646628988, 46pp.
Publication Date: July 15, 2022