Robert Cooperman was born and raised in the less than mean and wild streets of Brooklyn, New York, playing, as a kid, stickball, street football, and basketball, all not very well, but very enthusiastically. After graduating from Brooklyn College with a B.A. and Long Island University with an M.A., in English, Cooperman headed west for the Ph.D. program in Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Denver.
After graduating, he taught for five years at the University of Georgia, all the time continuing to write. His first collection was In the Household of Percy Bysshe Shelley, published by the University Press of Florida. Cooperman’s second publication was In the Colorado Gold Fever Mountains (Western Reflections), which won the Colorado Book Award for Poetry in 2000, and which also cemented Cooperman’s love for all things about the Colorado Territory, especially a badman by the name of Mountain Jim Nugent, whom Cooperman renamed John Sprockett and has written extensively about his fictionalized adventures and misadventures. At one point Cooperman confided, “I’ve killed the son-of-a-bitch off three times, but he refuses to stay dead.” So he just rolls with tales about this “saint of violence.” Sprockett has appeared in four other collections: half murderous outlaw, half defender and avenger of the innocent.
In addition, Cooperman won the Holland Award from Logan Street Press for My Shtetl, a collection that drew upon his Jewish upbringing. Draft Board Blues (FutureCycle Press) was named One of Ten Great Books by a Colorado Author for 2017 by Westword Magazine. It details Cooperman’s battle to keep from getting killed in the Vietnam War. Most recently, he has published Reefer Madness (Kelsay Books), half about Cooperman’s misspent youth and half based on a newspaper article in the Denver Post, which stated that the Girl Scouts of Colorado had given approval for its member-troops to sell cookies outside Colorado marijuana dispensaries. You really can’t make this stuff up. Forthcoming from Apprentice House is Go Play Outside, Cooperman’s love song to basketball; and from FutureCycle Press, Bearing the Body of Hector Home.
Cooperman lives in Denver with his wife, Beth.
Paperback: 130 pages
Publisher: Kelsay Books (October 18, 2022)