Berg's extraordinary gifts are devoted, in The Elegy on Hats, to poems mysteriously informed by the work of Charles Baudelaire (the great French master of the prose poem). In Still Unilluminated I..., poems reinvent the work of Arthur Rimbaud. These poems come out of Berg's life and are placed in twenty-first century America, t nineteenth-century Paris. His masters' influence has reminded some of Joyce's use of Homer in Ulysses. That is quite a mouthful, but it is earned. Where Joyce's Ulysses is set in Dublin, Berg is always an American, urban revolutionary. He makes poetry out of the ordinary, commonplace and material, out of which his sexual and religious visions are passionately made. Stated musically, his poems are played on the cello, accompanied by brass, with wrong te effects that one hears sometimes in Stravinsky's Rites of Spring, with a touch of hip-hop.
Stephen Berg is the founder The American Poetry Review, the most influential review of American poetry, which he has been editing and publishing for more than thirty years. His books of poetry include The Daughters, Grief, With Akhmatova at The Black Gates, In it, New & Selected Poems, Crow with No Mouth: Ikkyu, Oblivion, and Shaving. He was educated at the University of Pennsylvania, Boston University where he studied with Robert Lowell, and the State University of Iowa. He has taught at Temple University, Princeton, Haverford and Loyola (Baltimore), and is Professor of English at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia.