“Denise Bergman's second collection of poems is astonishingly original: I can't think of another work that uses something so small to such large effect. The Telling is ultimately about time and memory, art and truth, women and birth and death, and it all comes from "A sepia memory / mildewed, perhaps, or not"—a tiny center around which Bergman's lyrical intelligence moves with haunting power and grace.”
Martha Collins, author of The White Papers
“As scribe to the recounting of a few harrowing childhood hours that would shape her maternal grandmother's life, Denise Bergman examines trauma, suppression, and how the honest mind must sometimes alter truth. This, then, is no simple compassion; as the narrator bears witness to the recounting of a monumental and guilt-laden secret, Bergman searches underneath the told story. In her spare, halting lines and the wide silences between them, one senses a tender and horrified listening, and in this listening an implied counterpoint, a murmur of truths unspeakable. Every object in The Telling has a vulnerable, culpable animus. All are witnesses. Bergman's testimony acknowledges the heartbreaking necessity of amnesia.”
Frannie Lindsay, author of Where She Always Was
Denise Bergman is the author of The Telling, a book-length poem. Her book Seeing Annie Sullivan, poems based on the early life of Helen Keller's teacher, was translated into Braille and into a Talking Book. She was the editor of City River of Voices, an anthology of urban poetry, and author of Keyhole Poems, a sequence that combines the history of specific urban places with the present. Her poems have been widely published and nominated for a Pushcart Prize. An excerpt from her poem "Red," about the effects of a slaughterhouse, was permanently installed by the city of Cambridge, MA, in a neighborhood park. She was featured as a Split This Rock Poet of the Week in May 2013.