‘Nearing the Exit’: Poems by Herbert Gold


Novelist, memoirist, essayist, Herbert Gold returns to his earliest form of literary expression, poetry—here in a publishing first, Nearing the Exit. In these poems 94-year-old Gold visits his past and future, with a tip of the hat to the theme of his recent book Still Alive: A Temporary Condition (2008, republished as Not Dead Yet, 2011).

Includes an interview with Herb by publisher Les Gottesman at Omèrta Press.

Nearing the Exit: Poems by Herb GoldHerbert Gold began writing poetry in high school in Cleveland in the 1930s. Writing propelled him to New York City after several of his poems had been accepted by New York literary magazines. He studied philosophy at Columbia University (interrupted by 3 years in “downtown World War II,” as he calls it) and became involved with the burgeoning Beat Generation, which resulted in a lifelong friendship with Allen Ginsberg. He won a Fulbright to Paris, where he joined a literary scene around Saul Bellow. Gold recalls, “Somehow I got to writing prose, confining my poetry to folders which will in due course be excavated by my children. Along the way, I’ve published approximately 20 novels and collections of stories (who’s counting?) and maybe 6 or 8 nonfiction books (I’m not a mathematician). I’ve temporarily taught at Harvard, Cornell, Stanford, UC-Berkeley, and UC-Davis, but didn’t want to depart San Francisco. I’ve had 2 wives and 5 children Isn’t that enough bio? There could be more…” At age 94, Gold returns to poetry in these new poems, lyrical but tough reflections on his loves, joys, and losses.