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The Portable February
The Portable February

The Portable February


97 Pages, 5.5 x 8.75

Formats: Cloth

Cloth, $10.00 (US $10.00) (CA $11.00)

Publication Date: June 2009

ISBN 9780982048016

Rights: US & CA

Drag City (Jun 2009)

Price: $10.00


Running the gamut in topic and style from faux-political to faux–New Yorker, David Berman’s lo-fi cartoons incorporate strains of high and low comedy, wistful Americana, contemporary art, dream visions, and a visual analog to the semipenetrable personal allusions found in his music and poetry. His drawings invite the same deeper thought as his writings, making use of wordplay, cultural references, and offbeat observations. The sparse illustrations are complemented by poignant one-liners, and reveal moments of lightness within the author’s dark humor, providing a wry, erudite commentary on American culture.


“February’s genius lies in how its rudimentary squiggles manage to haunt again and again, each time in a slightly new way.” —Magnet Magazine

“Berman's is a funny, smart, on-again, off-again poetry of great promise.” —New York Times Book Review, on Actual Air

“Full of casually sharp observations about the most mundane subjects. Air is funny, weird, and profound, whether it's tackling the nature of hallways or the architecture of back pain.” —Entertainment Weekly, on Actual Air

“David Berman is a young Virginian poet with a sly, intense regard for the past. He comes on like a prankster, restocking the imperial orations of Wallace Stevens and the byzantine monologues of John Ashbery with the pop-cultural bric-a-brac of a new generation . . . But his words have and easy, eloquent gait.” —New Yorker, on Actual Air

“In The Portable February sometimes an entire microscopic cultural-historical moment, if not a whole life, seems encapsulated in one panel, a handful of sentences.” —Ed Park, The Poetry Foundation

Author Biography

David Berman is a singer-songwriter and former frontman for the band Silver Jews. He is the author of the poetry collection Actual Air and his cartoons have appeared in periodicals such as the Baffler, the Believer, the Minus Times, and Moonlit. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee.