Contemporary Gay American Poets and Playwrights: An A-to-Z Guide

By Emmanuel S. Nelson | Go to book overview
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James Najarian


David Bergman was born in 1950 and grew up in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. His father was an art director and his mother a teacher. He attended Kenyon College and graduated in 1972. His short, heartfelt essay “Let the Living Creature Lie” describes his coming out during his senior year in college. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. in English from the Johns Hopkins University in 1974 and 1977, from which he went to teach briefly at St. Mary’s College and Seminary and permanently at Towson State University in Baltimore. His doctoral thesis was on Robert Browning.

Bergman has worked in every aspect of gay and lesbian literary studies. His first publications were academic articles and verse: He won the 1985 George Elliston Prize for Poetry for his second book of poetry, Cracking the Code. He went on to produce a groundbreaking work in gay literary history, Gaiety Transfigured, which won Choice’s award for outstanding academic book. Bergman not only writes poetry and criticism but also publishes personal essays and edits essays by prominent gay writers. He has also edited several volumes of the popular Men on Men series of short-story anthologies. As he writes and edits industriously, Bergman continues to teach creative writing, gay and lesbian studies, and literature at Towson State and on visiting appointments at other institutions. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland.


Bergman’s extensive and admirable literary production in all these genres should be read of a piece. Throughout all his labors—poetic, academic, personal,


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