Late Life by Stephen Ackerman
Paperback 96 pages $18.00
Release date: August 1, 2022
Distributed to the trade by Small Press Distribution
Stephen Ackerman worked as an attorney for the New York City Law Department for over thirty years, and retired in 2019. He earned a B.A. from Columbia University, where he studied with Kenneth Koch and David Shapiro; an M.A. from The Johns Hopkins University (The Writing Seminars), where he studied with David St. John; and a J.D. from Boston University. While at BU, he took a course in the Creative Writing Program with Linda Gregerson. His poems have appeared in many publications, including Best Indie Lit New England, Best New Poets 2010, Boulevard, Columbia Review, Jewish Quarterly, Mudfish, Partisan Review, Ploughshares, Red Wheelbarrow, Salamander, Seneca Review, and upstreet, as well as on Poetry Daily.
"Late Life is Stephen Ackerman’s breathtaking debut poetry collection. Ackerman is the rare poet who can write the 21st century love poem for grown-ups–-love is present, exacting, unguaranteed, funky, numinous. Throughout this collection, the touch is so light, so sure, so kinetic, you can miss how visceral the stakes are. These tense lines know exactly how numbered every breath we take is, yet they can still ‘plant the mint and watch it thrive.’
“Ackerman is an alchemist of the real, a believer in the transforming power of language who knows that our lives are inscribed in a vastness beyond words. A poem that visits the underworld doesn’t hope for reunion but just ‘The fingerprint, the whorl of who you never were / But sought to be.’ If there’s irony, it’s the irony of reality: this world is gorgeous and we die. Ackerman is an indelible writer, a poet of extraordinary eloquence." --D. Nurkse