Silver Jews’ Reclusive David Berman to Speak at Macaulay—April 8

New York, NY – February 19, 2013. Singer-songwriter David Berman, who fronted the influential rock band Silver Jews, will give a talk at Macaulay Honors College at The City University of New York in a rare public appearance–breaking three years of silence–on April 8, 2013 at 7 p.m. at 35 West 67th Street between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue.  He appears as the inaugural guest of Macaulay’s new speaker series, the Kenan Lectures in Ethics and Resistance.

Based in Nashville, Tennessee, Berman has been called “one of the most gifted lyricists of the last two decades” by The Washington Post, which dubbed his songs “hilarious, heartbreaking, pretty, ugly and everything in between.”   Recently profiled in the Jewish arts and culture journal Tablet, Berman has often collaborated during his idiosyncratic career with musician Stephen Malkmus, the frontman of Pavement, an icon of the 1990s independent music scene.

Berman, a noted poet and illustrator, has become a cult-like figure of almost legendary mystery and the subject of speculation and rumor.  He published a successful collection of poetry, Actual Air, in 1999 (Open City Books), widely admired for its close observation and off-beat humor and often compared to the writings of Wallace Stevens and Kenneth Koch.  His much-anticipated talk at Macaulay Honors College at CUNY is expected to be surprising and frank.  In the past, he has been open about his struggles with addiction, recovery, and the effect of a 2003 suicide attempt.

Silver Jews produced six full-length studio albums from 1994 to 2008 and attained a substantial following, disbanding on the verge of achieving mainstream popularity.  Having refused to tour for 15 years, Berman embarked on a world tour and left Silver Jews in 2009 after a farewell performance inside a Tennessee cavern.  He made waves with a public denunciation of his father, Richard Berman, a Washington D.C. lobbyist for big industry. Chicago’s Drag City Records released an album of early rarities entitled Early Times in 2012.

Monday, April 8, 2013, 7:00 p.m.
35 West 67th Street between Columbus and Central Park West

Free admission. Space is limited and registration is required.

To register, visit:

About Macaulay Honors College
Macaulay Honors College offers exceptional students a uniquely personalized education with access to the vast resources of the nation’s largest urban university and New York City itself.  Selected for their top high school records and leadership potential, every Macaulay student receives a full in-state tuition scholarship available to eligible New York State residents, a laptop and technology support, and a $7,500 Opportunities Fund to pursue global learning and service opportunities.  For more information visit

About the Kenan Lectures in Ethics and Resistance

Part of the Kenan Leadership Scholars Program, the Kenan Lectures were established to connect members of the Macaulay community to world-class artists, theorists and activists who offer creative, productive obstructions to the dominant culture. The program is generously funded by the William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust.

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