David Berman (1934–2017) was born on September 11, 1934, in New York City and raised in Hollywood, Florida. Licensed as an attorney in 1963, Berman clerked for Justice Jacob Spiegel of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, and from 1964 to 1967 served as Assistant Attorney General of Massachusetts under Edward Brooke. From 1967 until his death, he had a private practice in the Boston area with an emphasis on business litigation.
Berman also had a parallel career as a poet. While working in Boston in the late 1950s, he took Robert Lowell’s poetry seminar at Boston University. As a law student at Harvard, he was permitted to take Archibald MacLeish’s poetry course, which he called the “high point” of his week, and where he met and befriended the poet Bruce Bennett. While at Harvard, he was frequently published in the Harvard Advocate. Over the years, Berman published a number of poems in literary journals such as the Formalist, Piedmont Literary Review, Sparrow, Orbis, Iambs and Trochees, and Pivot. He also published three chapbooks: Future Imperfect (State Street Press, 1982), Slippage (Robert L. Barth, 1996), and David Berman: Greatest Hits 1965–2002 (Pudding House, 2002).
Berman was a longtime member of the Powow River Poets of Newburyport, Massachusetts. In addition, he was a member of the Harvard Club, a trustee of the Cantata Singers, and Vice Échanson and Vice Conseiller Gastronomique Honoraire of the Boston chapter of La Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs. He passed away on June 22, 2017, after battling cancer for several months.
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