Bruce Sager is currently polishing a scurrilous volume of short stories, Hoby Blue Banks in Exactly 1,000 Words, More or Less, an undertaking rumored to be putatively diverting, but his main writing focus over the decades—he was born in late 1951—has been poetry. In fact, Bruce has been swooping in and out of the poetry world for decades.
The poetry world takes occasional brief notice.
U.S. Poet Laureate William Stafford chose his first book to receive the Artscape Literary Arts Award back in 1986, observing:
“The Pumping Station far surpassed my hopes. Bruce Sager made me turn from being a judge to embrace my role as admiring reader. May this book meet many with hopes like mine, so that its quality may reach out and accompany their lives, as it does mine.”
Past honors also include the 2010 Harriss Poetry Prize, with Dick Allen, Connecticut Poet Laureate, serving as judge, and, more recently, the 2014 William Matthews Poetry Prize, selected by two-term U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins. (Bruce seems to do well with poets laureate, if, he theorizes, he can catch them a tad crapulous.)
About Famous—published by CityLit Press—Dick Allen wrote:
“A tour de force … these poems are outstanding and moving, crafted in order to reward us with new senses of perspective—as only exceptional poetry can do. Just twice before, in the many times I’ve judged poetry contests, has a poet’s work stood out as strongly as Sager’s. One of those winners is now a ‘major American poet’.”
Greg Luce, in Little Patuxent Review, went on the record thus:
“Famous is a splendid introduction to the work of this remarkable poet. Excerpts can hardly do justice to the poems. Given his characteristic felicity of expression, a cruise through the deep with Sager brings delights and surprises … a witty, engaging and rewarding poetry collection.”
In counter balance to these opinions, the eminent critic Beans-N-Toast, among reviews of a Hamilton Beach sandwich maker, Ethical Fleece dog toys, and an Xbox One with Kinect (Day One Edition)—all of which garnered higher ratings from him/her than Famous—paused to share these insights on Amazon:
“After digesting the work a couple of times, I simply can’t—in any way—recommend it. While the author does have a gift of the ‘mother tongue,’ as noted by one reviewer, he employs it with such infrequency, as to render it ineffectual. Famous is a pedantic, self-absorbed effort, better left on the shelves of Amazon than on your bookshelf … we can only hope that this is printed on recycled paper so it wasn’t a total loss.”
Bruce has been the recipient of Maryland State Arts Council Awards in both fiction and poetry.
His third book of poetry is forthcoming from Hyperborea in late 2016.
In his free time, he serves as the CEO of a technology firm that supports the U.S. intelligence community in protecting against terrorist threats. Being the rarest of the rarae aves in such an instinctively conservative society—a political and social liberal—keeps him on his toes.
Bruce is married to the photographer Nicol Sager, who also keeps him on his toes, lives in Westminster, Maryland, and has seven children ranging in age from 39 to 7.
His library is “friggin’ bitchin’,” and he claims to have actually read several of the eight thousand volumes lining his shelves.
He smokes very, very good cigars, the clouds from which drift into his poetry and prose from time to time.
Two raw-fed spirited young blue-eyed Siberian huskies lounge by his computer at his feet, and interrupt him with piteous howls whenever he is on a roll.
Including at this very moment.