Piano and Scene by David Berman
Jeff Tweedy wrote one. Billy Corgan and Jewel did too. 2Pac and Jim Morrison have posthumous collections, and Bob Dylan’s began as an underground bootleg. What, you may ask, is the connection between this diverse group of musical artists? The answer may surprise you. Believe it or not, all of the aforementioned rockers and rappers have a published volume of poetry to their credit, and though the critical and commerical response to each has differed, the books are a collective reminder of the following oft-forgotten fact. Simply put, the arts of writing songs and writing poetry are not one and the same, and it’s no given that a great lyricist will make a great poet. There are a few rare talents, however, who are accomplished in both music and verse, and one such artist is Virginia-native David Berman. Pulling double duty as an indie rock cult hero and a critically-acclaimed poet, Berman’s debut book Actual Air is a sure bet for connoisseurs of fine poetry everywhere.