Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Polish-American Writers Read in New York City

This coming Friday, January 2, five Polish-American writers will talk about their ethnic background and read from their writings. The session will begin at 330 and go until 530 at the Hilton Hotel, 1335 Avenue of the Americas. The event is sponsored by the Polish American Historical Association, and complete information regarding registering for the conference is available at the PAHA website.

The session is entitled "Writing the Polish American Experience: East Coast."

The featured speakers are:

Stephen Lewandowski who was born in 1947 in Canandaigua, New York, where he still lives in a house built by his great grandfather. He has published eight books and chapbooks of poetry, most recently One Life (Wood Thrush Books, 2001). He has recently published a series of poems about his father available at The Scream Online. He is involved in environmental protection.

Sharon Mesmer is a 2009 Fulbright Senior Specialist candidate and a two-time New York Foundation for the Arts fellow in poetry. Her books include Annoying Diabetic Bitch (poetry, Combo Books 2008), The Virgin Formica (poetry, Hanging Loose Press, 2008) and Ma Vie à Yonago (fiction, Hachette Littératures, in French, 2005). She teaches undergraduate fiction writing, literature courses and MFA poetry seminars at the New School. She blogs at Virgin Formica.

Joseph Lisowski grew up in Pittsburgh, PA, near the Heppenstal Steel Mill. He taught for 10 years in St. Thomas, VI., which serves as the setting for his three published mystery novels, Full Body Rub, Looking for Lisa, and Looking for Lauren. He has also published four poetry collections: Stashu Kapinski Gets Lucky , Fatherhood at Fifty, Stashu Kapinski Strikes Out, Near the Narcotic Sea. He currently teaches at Elizabeth City State University, in South Carolina.

John Surowiecki is the author of two poetry collections, Watching Cartoons before Attending a Funeral (White Pine Press, 2003) and The Hat City after Men Stopped Wearing Hats (The Word Works, 2006 Washington Prize), and five chapbooks. My Nose and Me: (A TragedyLite or TragiDelight in 33 Scenes) won the Verse Drama Award from the Poetry Foundation.

Bill Zavatsky was born in 1943 in Bridgeport, Connecticut. In the seventies and eighties, he directed the publication efforts of SUN, an independent literary press, bringing out thirty-five titles as well as several issues of SUN magazine and a two-shot specialty publication called Roy Rogers. He is the author of two books of poems, Where X Marks the Spot and Theories of Rain and Other Poems, two volumes of translation (Valery Larbaud and André Breton), and has published his work in many magazines and in anthologies, including The Face of Poetry, Up Late: American Poetry Since 1970, and The Jazz Poetry Anthology. His poems have served as liner notes for recordings by jazz pianists Bill Evans and Marc Copland. He himself has been a musician since childhood and specializes in jazz piano and the blues.

John Guzlowski will moderate.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Joseph Lisowski's Letters to Wang Wei

Polish-American poet Joseph Lisowski grew up in the shadow of the Heppenstal Steel Mill in Pittsburgh among Poles and Polish Americans who still remembered the work they did in the old country, in Katowice and Lublin and Gdansk. What they taught him was that a man's life was mostly spent in exile, and much of Lisowski's life has been spent away from them and Pittsburgh.

Since leaving Pittsburgh, he has almost always lived and written his poems and novels near the sea. First in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, and most recently near the outer banks of North Carolina. There he is a professor at Elizabeth City State University.

His most recent book Letters to Wang Wei is a series of letters he has written to the 8th-century Chinese poet in response to his poems. Lisowski's poems talk of beauty and loss, friendship and family, and the hope and longing that all exiles feel.

Here's one of the poem from this collection:


The peonies you touched
I touched too.
Held them to my face,
blood red in the spring garden
of another life.

I searched as your words told me:
deep in the flower's heart
Autumn was about to break.
I wanted too much then.
In the red lust of passion,
I ached.

Forgive me for bruising your flowers,
for desire I cannot lose or break.


Joseph Lisowski's Letters to Wang Wei is available from Pudding House Publications.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Call for Poetry Submissions

Kritya, an online Journal of Poetry published in India, is doing a special issue on contemporary Polish and Polish Diaspora poetry and is looking for poems and art by Poles or people of Polish descent. The poems should touch on some aspects of Polish or Polish Diaspora culture. The journal can be seen at www.kritya.in. The deadline is February 1, 2009, and the issue is scheduled to appear in May of 2009.

Send your contributions to the co-editors for this special issue: John Guzlowski or Christina Pacosz at jzguzlowski@gmail.com and pacosz@earthlink.net.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Danusha Goska

Dr. Danusha Goska is a writer whose essays, fiction, and poetry have addressed a broad range of topics and have touched many readers. She has written about the complex vision and personality of Pope John Paul II, Polish folk art, the Golem myth, the Holocaust, Polish romantic poet Adam Mickiewicz, Islam and Terror, and Spirituality and Ecology. She's also a writer who is deeply committed to uncovering and analyzing the truths that are hidden in popular culture. Her essays have told us important things about such pop culture icons as Woody Allen, Frank Sinatra, and Melvyn Douglas. Many of these essays are available at her website. She is also the author of a novel, Love Me More: An Addict's Diary.

The work that is most important to her has only been seen, however, in bits and pieces. For the last two decades, she has devoted much of her energy to a book-length study of the stereotypical ways in which Poles are often seen. Her study is is entitled "Bieganski: The Brute Polak Stereotype, Its Role in Polish Jewish Relations, and American Popular Culture." The chapter called "The Necessity of 'Bieganski': A Shamed and Horrified World Seeks a Scapegoat" appeared in an award-winning number of the journal Polin: A Study of Polish Jewery. A review of this article in the journal Shofar described her work as "groundbreaking."

She has started a blog devoted to her work on "Bieganski: The Brute Polak Stereotype, Its Role in Polish-Jewish Relations and American Popular Culture" and other issues. You can see her blog by clicking here.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Helen Degen Cohen: On a Good Day One Discovers a Poet

I have been reading Helen Degen Cohen's poems and personal essays for 15 or 16 years, maybe longer. A friend of mine, Dean Shavitt, first introduced me to her. He said, "You have to read her." He was right.

The poems and essays he gave me were dark and troubling and beautiful, and they were about Helen's life in Poland during the war and after the war. She and her poems and fiction and essays have never left me. When people ask me about what it was like in Poland during the war, I tell them what I learned from my parents and what I have learned from Helen's poems about her childhood and her essay "Return to Warsaw."

Helen's new collection of poems On a Good Day One Discovers a Poet is being published by Finishing Line Press this coming January; and from what I've seen of this book so far, I think it will stay with me the way all her writing has stayed with me.

Here's a poem from it called "Ponette":


A small, reasonable child in France
has no right to lose her mother:
mother the sun is gone but still
the child must play, the children
kiss and are kind to the child and still
she has too many questions – the sky
has its rules and everyone mentions God
and Jesus and the heaven where mothers
go and are happy, and still when
the light is behind the earth – the child
Speak to me, mother.
I have prayed, as I was instructed,
I have gone through four trials, I have
followed others, leapt fearfully, climbed into the dark
and slept, but – woke up listening when
sometimes you came to me
though not everyone believed it – and then
your voice rolled out of reach. I am not
cold though they say it’s cold
today, I am here.

Speak to me, vanished mother.

Mother, you must speak to me!

The schoolyard opens, releasing children.
They perch and fly by like the birds.
A child is more powerful than a mother,
mother, come to me, mother!

What can a mother do but promise?

And on the appointed day, she came, for a picnic, a long
long walk through mild meadows and woods, to just
have a good time, laugh, and, promise
that she never went away
and never will.
And so good-byes are

The father, just arrived in town, listens, as if to a long
lost letter in his hand.


Helen's new book On a Good Day One Discovers a Poet is available for pre-publication sales at Finishing Line Press.

You can also read an except from her autobiographical novel The Edge of the Field at Scream On Line.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Polish Writers on Writing edited by Adam Zagajewski

Adam Zagajewski's Polish Writers on Writing, a fine collection of essays by various Twentieth-Century Polish writers including Milosz, Herbert, Szymborska, Schulz, and Zagajewski himself was reviewed by poet Ron Slate at his website On the Seawall .

Here's Ron's review.

Many of the writers in this excellent selection, writes Adam Zagajewski, "faced a choice not very different from the one their nineteenth-century predecessors were confronted with: namely, should the new catastrophe be understood and dealt with as a national disaster, or should it be approached as a global event provoking an answer couched in universal terms?" He then goes further: "So here's the innocent paradox of this generation. These brilliant writers understood that in bad times they should keep their inner freedom, their individual voices, and their passion for infinity and not bend under the nationalistic yoke. Yet the weight of the Polish nineteenth-century model was such that they needed a constant consultation, a constant conversation to withstand that pressure." Both at the heart of the empire and the among the conquered territories, the position of the writer is identical. The relevance of Polish writers --Wat, Herling, Szymborska, Baranczak, Gombrowicz, Schulz, Witkiewicz -- to American writers is manifest. As an admirer of Zagajewski's poetry and prose, I read this book as well to see his designations as the seminal statements of his literary compatriots.

Milosz is represented here by his poem "Ars Poetica?" and three essays. In "The Sand in the Hourglass," he writes, "Social reality is distinguished by the fact that it is opaque, treacherous, that with its myriad guises it deludes everyone who is entangled in it." We begin by thinking of the Polish writers as making stark choices between solitude and garrulousness, a matter of timing, of hiding and exposure. But going further, we find writers who illuminate the complexities and ambiguities of our feelings of modernity, writers who have absorbed philosophy and culture in a broad, worldly fashion. Zagajewski himself, in his essay "Beginning to Remember" in Ardor, described this temperament and perspective: "A strong poetic talent produces two contradictory phenomena. It suggests, on the one hand, intense participation in the life of your age, plunging into it up to your neck, an obsessive experiencing of actuality. It leads, on the other hand, to a certain kind of alienation, distance, absence. It is ceaseless interplay of proximity and distance."

To read these essays is to enter into the specific pressure of reality that impinged on these writers -- and to track their various responses. In "Reality" (1974) Milosz says, "Having lived for a long time in France and in America, I have been astounded by my observation that the tough and predatory reality that surrounds me does not exist in the literature of these countries." Meaning there was no great American Dostoevsky in 1860, no concept of a predatory world to animate past American epochs. But we're catching up! Suddenly it becomes clear that Milosz attempted something very large and generous -- to address an entire world without separating himself from what the human is actually like. How odd, even with our wide-angle view of a globalized world, so many American writers, attempting statement beyond the personal and the quietly observed, quack at the regime, play to the pre-packaged politics of the audience at the poetry reading, and sing the flat song of grievance and victimization. No struggle, no rough edges -- just the unexamined pretensions of presumed higher consciousness -- political, racial, sexual, cultural.

Jozef Czapski somewhat contradicts Milosz, in "On Intervals in Work," when he writes, "In France probably fewer talents perish, while with us they almost as a rule go to waste, because ... there is in France a continuously enriched and deepened tradition of 'secret knowledge' ... a connection between a vision and the realization of that vision." Czapski, Zagajewski has written elsewhere, "was constantly testing to see if his experiences were real, if those great moments of illumination weren’t simply a diversionary ploy undertaken by his glands and hormones." This seems more in keeping with the rich vein of Polish creative scepticism. But Witold Gombrowicz voices a complementary, complex reaction to Milosz: "I find the same thing in him that I find in myself: antipathy and condescension in relation to them [Western writers], mixed with bitter powerlessness."

The Poles have thought long and hard about humanity from the perspective of "untenable positions." From this issues the special nervous tension and haunted wisdom of their remarks. As part of the creative vetting process, the writer questions his own motivations and the role of art, as Tadeusz Rozewicz does here in "Preparation for a Poetry Reading" (1959): "Poetry has to consummate a given place and time. If it does, it is perfect. How easy it was to create poetry and describe poetry, while it existed. Poets still use this kind of phrase: 'As long as poetry hasn't died in me, I can't be unhappy.' As if they didn't understand there is no 'poetry.' There are like children ... what confidence in oneself and in 'poetry.' " Zagajewski has included "The Art of Empathy: A Conversation with Zbigniew Herbert" in which Herbert also gropes for the essence of poetic voice: "I also try to make it clear that the author doesn't appear in his own person. He creates a certain poetic persona, which -- sadly -- is better than he is. Because I think man isn't who he really is -- who knows who he is? -- but who he would like to be."

(The complete review is available at Ron Slate's On the Seawall. His recent collection of poems is entitled The Incentive of the Maggot and is available from Houghton Mifflin and Amazon).

Saturday, November 8, 2008

My Nose and Me

John Surowiecki's award-winning comedy My Nose and Me: A TragedyLite or TragiDelight in 33 Scenes will be given a dramatic reading at the University of Connecticutt, Storrs, on Thursday, November 13 at the Nafe Katter Theatre at 7 pm.

The play won the Poetry Foundation’s first Pegasus Award for Verse Drama. Inspired by Gogol’s story, “The Nose,” it recounts how a man and his proboscis battle cancer and win. Praising the play’s madcap ingenuity, the Poetry Foundation website describes Surowiecki’s protagonist as a man who “suffers not only the dread, despair, and indignity of cancer treatment but also the temporary disappearance of his nose,” which departs to travel the world.

Presented as part of the English Department's Creative Sustenance Series & Connecticut Repertory Theatre's Uncommon Sense Series, this event is a benefit for the Covenant Soup Kitchen in Willimantic. Audience members are invited to make a donation or bring canned goods.

Friday, October 3, 2008

John Surowiecki

Recently, I've been reading John Surowiecki's book of poems The Hat City after Men Stopped Wearing Hats. It won the Washington Prize for Poetry in 2006, and it is excellent. John is smart and funny and humane. He pulls off that most difficult role: he's a writer who has something important to say about the way we live and die, and he does it in a way that makes you feel he's not afraid of being human, one of us, a friend.

Here's one of the many fine poems in the book that mixes the elegaic and the comic:

The Polka King’s Death (1963)

They liked that his casket was lined with robin’s-
egg-blue satin undulating in G-clef patterns
and that his golden initials, so cleverly intertwined
and flecked with stars and Saturns and grace-
noted comets, once again blazoned from his pocket;
most of all, they liked that he kept his fez.

He had played at all their weddings, started
them on all their journeys, all bound for the same
unremarkable place, all the same to him.
He had given them a day of joy and frenzied music,
a day without bosses or angry looks or remarks
about being poor or uneducated or just plain stupid.

In return, they gave him a joyless hour and, heads
bowed, they sang their sluggish hymns.


John is also an accomplished playwright, and his play My Nose and Me: A TragedyLite or TragiDelight in 33 Scenes will be given a dramatic reading at the University of Connecticutt, Storrs, on Thursday, November 13 at the Nafe Katter Theatre at 7 pm.

The play won the Poetry Foundation’s first Pegasus Award for Verse Drama. Inspired by Gogol’s story, “The Nose,” it recounts how a man and his proboscis battle cancer and win. Praising the play’s madcap ingenuity, the Poetry Foundation website describes Surowiecki’s protagonist as a man who “suffers not only the dread, despair, and indignity of cancer treatment but also the temporary disappearance of his nose,” which departs to travel the world.

Presented as part of the English Department's Creative Sustenance Series & Connecticut Repertory Theatre's Uncommon Sense Series, this event is a benefit for the Covenant Soup Kitchen in Willimantic. Audience members are invited to make a donation or bring canned goods.

Before I forget, let me also say that John won the Pablo Neruda Prize for poetry last year.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

"Lightning and Ashes: The Poetry of John Guzlowski" by Thomas Napierkowski

Thomas Napierkowski recently published an article on my book LIGHTNING AND ASHES in the journal POLISH AMERICAN STUDIES, and I thought I would share the link.

Here's a paragraph from Prof. Napierkowski's study:

Like all good poets, John Guzlowski writes poems that have universal relevance; his poems, for example, deal with parent-child relations, husband-wife bonds, new beginnings, death (especially the death of parents), family connections (and disconnections), tragedy, trauma, and endurance. In the case of Guzlowski, however, these universal themes are anchored in Polish and Polish American experiences and also importantly in a segment of the Polish American community which has, until recently, been virtually voiceless—without, at least, a strong and clear literary voice. As a talented poet and a powerful voice for Polonia, John Guzlowski deserves our attention, our thanks—and our support.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Polish American Studies Online

Dear Friends, I recently received a note from Anne Kirchmann, the President of the Polish American Historical Association. She informed me that the journal Polish American Studies was now online. It is available through the History Cooperative at:


This journal has published articles on every aspect of Polish American life. There have been articles about Polish-American artists, parishes, workers, literature, history, music, and so much more. (The current issue contains a review of my book Lightning and Ashes, about my parents and their experiences in the concentration camps in Germany.)

Here's a description of the the journal:

Polish American Studies is an interdisciplinary, refereed scholarly
journal, published twice each year. It is a member of the History
Cooperative and JSTOR electronic databases and is abstracted in
Historical Abstracts, America: History and Life, and The Catholic
Periodical and Literature Index.

The editors welcome scholarship including articles, edited documents, bibliographies and related materials dealing with all aspects of the history and culture of Poles in the Western Hemisphere. They particularly welcome contributions that place the Polish experience in historical and comparative perspective by examining its relationship to other ethnic experiences.

Contributions from any discipline in the humanities and social sciences are welcome.

Recent acceptance rates for unsolicited manuscripts were: 28.6% in 2007, 47.2% in 2006 and 36.4% in 2005. Inquiries and submissions may be sentto the editor, James S. Pula, at jpula@pnc.edu .

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Recently, poems by Phil Boiarski, Katarzyna Borun-Jagodzinska, Elisabeth Murawski, and Christina Pacosz have appeared in an issue of the photography journal Private devoted to Poland and the vision of Polish photographers. The poems and the photos are stark, whimsical, touching, shocking, and inspiring.

A preview of the journal is available online.

Here are some of the poems:

How We Learned About the War

Elisabeth Murawski

There were the pictures from Life,
the spider in the brain of Harry Truman
saving the boys time by dropping the bomb.

There were the silent films of opened
boxcars in Poland, the sticks and stones
with holes for eyes that went on living.

Parts of V-mail letters arrived, sometimes
after the telegrams lame with regret.
In the windows hung miniature flags,

their stars assigned a simple code
of blue, silver or gold. Gold
was for the unlucky. Only months,

years later would diaries come to light
so that we might hear the boots
that kept the Jews awake, see shadows

burned into a wall. Only then
would we see how the world always knows
what it is doing--girding for war

and whistling, while Lorca died and Picasso
on fire created the hips of Guernica.
Sometimes we forget the noose and its length--

how we are joined. We hang our souls
in windows prophets die for, playing
our parts at both ends, holding

our spotted coats in our hands.

(first published in The Literary Review, USA)


Phil Boiarski

Five thousand decades have passed
since the dragon with a taste for virgins
was slain by Prince Krak. The jewels
of royalty and the chambers of the rich
rise above the cave where the bones
mounded before the open wound
in the earth. The stench of rotting
flesh and the fiery belches of
the beast, led the brave knight
deep within the bowels of
the hill, to slay the evil thing.
And while the mass is said
and the choir sings, the beast
awaits within. Where once
again it will awaken.

At Morskie Oko Lake, Zakopane

Christina Pacosz

It is a gray country
even when the sky is blue
and today it is raining.
Mist gathers itself
a quiet fist
clutching the mountains.
Nuns in gray habits
walk over gray rocks
circling the lake.
If this is too much gray
look at the trees, green
bodies, beds of moss
waiting, the small blue
eyes of niezapominakji*
The nuns have disappeared
and only the shore of the lake
the eye of the sea
is visible, a narrow
border of aquamarine
filled with trout flicking
tails in cold water
swimming in the only
sky there is.

* forget-me-nots

( Christina's book, This Is Not a Place to Sing, West End, 1987)

A Patriotic Song (1981)

Katarzyna Boruń-Jagodzińska

Maybe it was a dream,
maybe it didn’t exist,
though everyone remembers
how this country
lived and suffered and loved.
It was sung in the margins of letters,
in hundreds of poems.
From the very beginning
it was branded with ash.
Poland —
a word wilted
by familial warmth:
mother and father
waiting at the table
to break the Christmas wafer
with the son who never returned
from the war,
the daughter who loves carousing,
and beloved cousin who cleans houses
in a foreign land.
The heirloom rosebush,
packed carefully in straw,
rots from excessive warmth,
though with each passing year,
the winters here grow longer.

(translated in English by Karen Kovacik)

Monday, August 11, 2008

John Guzlowski: Editor's Choice for KRITYA

Poet and Editor Rati Saxena has chosen some of my poems about my mother for the "Editor's Choice" feature of KRITYA, an online Journal of Poetry.

The selection of poems includes several from my book Lightning and Ashes as well as some recent poems written since my mother's death. The poems are available in Hindi as well as English.

Here's one of the poems Rati Saxena chose:


My mother learned that sex is bad,
Men are worthless, it is always cold
And there is never enough to eat.

She learned that if you are stupid
With your hands you will not survive
The winter even if you survive the fall.

She learned that only the young survive
The camps. The old are left in piles
Like worthless paper, and babies
Are scarce like chickens and bread.

She learned that the world is a broken place
Where no birds sing, and even angels
Cannot bear the sorrows God gives them.

She learned that you don't pray
Your enemies will not torment you.
You only pray that they will not kill you.


Lightning and Ashes is also available from the publisher, Steel Toe Books.

Monday, August 4, 2008


After posting the earlier piece on Linda Nemec Foster's "Ten Songs From Bulgaria," I asked her to tell me something about the inspiration for this new book.

Here's what she wrote:

Ten Songs from Bulgaria is my latest chapbook (my eighth poetry collection) and it was recently published by Cervena Barva Press in Massachusetts. It was a top finalist in the Press' national chapbook competition and, although it did not win, the editor accepted the manuscript for publication. The poems were inspired by the black and white photographs of Bulgarian artist, Jacko Vassilev.

Several years ago, Harper's Magazine featured a portfolio of his work and I was very moved by his haunting portraits of the people that inhabit the fringes of Eastern European society: the inmates of mental institutions, the very poor, the homeless veterans, the destitute and abandoned, the itinerant musician and his performing bear trying to smile for the camera. I knew I had to write poems in response to Vassilev's work.

With my Polish and Slavic heritage, I have always been fascinated by the "other Europe"---not the traditional tourist traps of Britain, France, Italy, or Germany (they certainly have their allure)---but the landscape of central and eastern Europe that only recently has been released from history's dark shadow. In some places, that shadow still persists and Vassilev's photographs reflect the people living there with their joys, sorrows, exurberance, and pain. I hope my poems in some way recognize their lives and honor their spirits. As poet and writer living in America, I was overwhelmed by these images from the other side of the world.


Linda's Ten Songs from Bulgaria is available from Cervena Barva Press.

Vassilev's photos are available for viewing online at his website.

You can find out more about Linda Nemec Foster at her website.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


When I read and reviewed Linda Nemec Foster's Amber Necklace from Gdansk several years ago for the Sarmatian Review, I knew that I was reading an essential Polish-American poet.

This sense has only increased as I've read more and more of her poetry over the years.

I'm looking forward, therefore, to her recently announced chapbook from Cervena Barva Press, Ten Songs from Bulgaria.

Here's one of the poems from the book:


Small lives, small lives,
we are trapped inside
small lives. Call this window
a prison of rotten wood; the hinges
a broken lock that still won’t release us.
Call us the curse of clouded mirrors,
the blank faces of the soul
stuck inside an old kaleidoscope.
Small lives, small lives. We hum and chant
to the silence outside the frame.


Here's what Faye Kicknosway, one of the book's early readers, said about it:

These poems evoke--in their concision and clarity--intense, disturbing images of lives shredded into pieces so small all that’s left is the memory of having endured. They are caged inside the empty space of the page, which seems to want to suffocate their spare, fragile, incredible beauty. Each image speaks a world that is window and mirror of what we hide from in the fabricated assemblages we make against the truth these poems speak.

The book is available from The Lost Book Shelf.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Polish-American poet Christina Pacosz has recently been featured in the Red Hen anthology Letters to the World: Poems from the Wom-Po Listserv.

Here's one of Christina's poems from the anthology, followed by a part of what reviewer Laurel Johnson said of her contribution to this collection of poems:



Squirrel nests are falling down
Fourth of July has been here and gone
Summer is waning
Though swallows still chortle as they dance through the air
And robins strut on stunted lawns
The drought drags on

Squirrels pair off
On the back porch rail
To groom each other
Before their rut
It is the season
Though summer is fraying

My thoughts stray to her, to him
Each of those four gone
The family pentacle broken now
Leaving me alone
On the lone prairie
Too exhausted to howl at the moon

And the war drags on
The bloody war drags on
And spreads
Around the world
Like an awful fleet of ships
A terrible wind filling their sails


Several years ago I reviewed the collected poetry of Christina Pacosz. Her beautiful words stunned me to silence and I've been following her published poetry online ever since. Like many female poets from around the world, Pacosz is a member of the Wom-Po Listserv -- an internet presence founded by Annie Finch and recognized internationally for its excellence. Wom-Po's goal as a website and the purpose of this anthology is to "give women poets and their poetry the recognition they deserve." To date, Wom-Po spin offs include listservs, workshops, collaborations, translations, and networking opportunities unavailable to female poets of earlier generations.

This is an exceptional anthology, one to be savored slowly by poetry lovers everywhere. With a universal wisdom, tenderness and grace, these poets transcend the violence we see every day in the world around us. They are the Emily Dickinsons of their time, sending their messages to the world. To quote the Dickinson poem:

This is my letter to the world,
That never wrote to me…..

In this age of wars and cultural divisions, it's time the world listens and writes back in kind. That's what the Wom-Po listserv poets hope to accomplish with this anthology. Highly recommended.


This anthology is available from Red Hen Press and from Amazon.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Stephen Lewandowski and Helen Ruggieri Write about Their Fathers

Over the years, poets Stephen Lewandowski and Helen Ruggieri have collaborated on a series of poems and short essays about their fathers that says something essential about the way all of our fathers have touched us and keep touching us.

This writing now appears at The Scream on Line, an online journal of the arts, culture, and literature. If you scroll down The Scream's contents page the collaboration appears under the heading Poetry.

Here's one of the short essays from Steve and Helen's collection:


Stephen Lewandowski

I was thirteen when my mother and I drove to Buffalo to visit my father in the hospital. He’d been there several months but he was too sick to see us, the doctors said. Now, they said, he’d improved enough so that our visit might be a good thing for him.

Before we arrived, I knew from talk in the family that they’d tried shock therapy on him. Nothing else had worked for long, so they hoped that shock might be an improvement. I thought of the Frankenstein monster shocked into life, but this was different, wasn’t it?

When the orderlies brought him into the visiting room, at first I couldn’t even be sure that it was him, he was so thin and pale. He wasn’t wearing his clothes-- he was dressed in scrubs the same as the orderlies. His eyes had always been blue, but now they were different, light and shallow, vacant.

At first there was no recognition in his face. He looked drawn and tired, but then the blue of his eyes seemed to deepen and spread, and he saw my mother and me, sitting and waiting for him. His gaze became intelligent. He understood who we were and took us in. The doctor had been talking about his improvement, and my mother and I had gone on about news at home, but finally he said, “Thanks for coming to visit me.” He didn’t have much to say about where he had been, but in a few words he returned to us.

On the trip home, that change in his eyes is what I remembered and turned over in my mind. Who was that person who, at first, didn’t remember us? Who recovered and slowly returned to the man we knew so well?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Polish-American fiction writer Anthony Bukoski's new North of the Port has been receiving extremely positive responses.

The May 15, 2008 Booklist review said of this work, “Bukoski’s heart-piercing, poetic fiction of place and ethnicity makes one wish to be Polish, too, despite the heartbreak.”

Tony's new collection was also recently been listed by the Boston Globe as one of the 10 best summer reads for 2008. Here's what the Globe said:
Twelve poignant short stories about Polish immigrant families in the mid-20th century, most set in Superior, Wis., a few in Louisiana. Something of the feeling of Willa Cather's "My Antonia," catalyzed with a powerful Catholic atmosphere."

Earlier this month, The Daily Telegram's Anna Kurth wrote an extensive article about Tony and his new collection. Here's a part of what she wrote:

Anthony Bukoski writes his stories long hand.

He writes about the East End, Poles and immigrants looking to make new homes against the backdrop of Lake Superior. Northern Wisconsin, its climate, its landscape and its people are his inspiration.

The author on Friday released his fifth book of short stories “North of the Port.”

A professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Superior, he has been writing since the early 1970s. His first published story was picked up in 1974 by Wisconsin Review magazine. Bukoski has been writing ever since, and all his works focus on northwestern Wisconsin and his home city of Superior.

“That’s my goal — to try to bring attention to us,” he said. “They’re all Superior stories. ... I have no reason to write about anything but Superior. ... There’s no place as stimulating for me.”

The people of northern Wisconsin are just as important as people in Paris or Moscow, he said.

“I want to bring recognition to Superior ... because we deserve recognition in literature,” he said. “People here are just as brave, tragic, foolish as people anywhere. But we’ve not been heard from up here.”

Bukoski’s other books of short stories include “Twelve Below Zero,” “Children of Strangers,” “Polonaise,” and “Time Between Trains.” The first, “Twelve Below Zero,” was published in 1986. An expanded edition of the book is being released this September.

All of Bukoski’s works focus on Superior from the 1950s until now.

Superior readers are drawn to Bukoski’s stories because they recognize the landscapes and the character types, he said.

Bukoski draws his characters from people he knows, and often local readers will try to identify the people his characters are based upon, he said.

Bukoski also writes book reviews, short stories and essays. “I haven’t found the strength to write a novel yet,” he said. “I desperately want to do that.”

“North of the Port” is a collection of short stories that follows a family of displaced persons who’ve moved to Louisiana after World War II to work on sugar cane plantations. The family moves north to Superior’s East End, and most of the stories take place in Superior or have a strong connection to the city, Bukoski said.

Immigrants from several eastern European countries — Lithuania, Ukraine, Poland — moved as displaced persons to the United State’s south east region. There they experienced tough working conditions in the sugar cane fields and mills. Some of them moved north, and “North of the Port” follows one such fictional family from Louisiana to Superior, he said.

“There were a lot of people in the East End who came from the old country,” he said.

Bukoski’s grandparents came from Poland. He said he remembers them and other people who emigrated to Superior from countries like Poland and Finland living in the neighborhood.

He was inspired to write about immigrants in “North of the Port” because he wants to bring recognition to the people who built the town as much as to the town itself.

While researching for “North of the Port” Bukoski visited the cane fields at harvest time in Louisiana and a co-op where sugar is refined. He lived in Louisiana for a year in the 1980s.

He finds inspiration for his stories by reading works by great writers, visiting the woods and his memories of life in the East End.

“I want to express all these delightful moments I’ve had — delightful and sorrowful,” he said.

Friday, June 20, 2008


Cecilia Woloch's new book Narcissus recently won the Snowbound Series Chapbook Award and was published by Tupelo Press. In her chapbook Cecilia combines brief lyrics and prose poems to talk about what love means to lovers who have seen love spent and wasted, lovers who know what the world does to love and still trust in it.

Here's one of the prose poems from Narcissus:


I slept in a room filled with white moths.- In a wooden house in the lower Carpathians —Beskid Niski — each silvery night. I made my bed in the room’s far corner, white moths settling like quiet petals on every surface as evening fell. They folded their wings and clung to the walls without a quiver as I undressed. I knew, as soon as I switched off the lamp, that the air would go pale with their fluttering. I knew, in my sleep, one might light on my arm, on my cheek, in my hair, without waking me. In this room, also, the seeds of wildflowers gleaned from the meadows were spread out to dry. What I learned about gentleness then. What I learned to be gently less wary of. I want not to forget those nights in the lower Carpathians, deep spring, sleeping alone: the white moths swirling as I dreamt; the meadows baring themselves to the moon.

There are several more poems from the chapbook at the Tupelo site. In addition, "Anniversary," one of the other poems in the chapbook, was recently chosen as the poem of the month by Writers at Work. To read the poem, click on Writers at Work and then click on June's Poem of the Month.
The photo of Cecilia was taken by Jim Baker Hall.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Bill Johnston's New Poems by Tadeusz Rozewicz Wins Translation Award

Bill Johnston recently received the first annual Found in Translation Award for his translation of New Poems by Tadeusz Rozewicz (Archipelago Books, 2007). The award, established in 2007, is given annually for the best translation of a work of Polish literature into English.
Rozewicz has had a number of excellent translators over the years including Milosz, Adam Czerniawski, and Victor Contoski, and Bill Johnston continues that tradition. He captures the essential calmness and sanity of Rozewicz's voice as it speaks of a world that is mostly chaotic and insane.
Here's one of Johnston's translations:

"It's past and gone [...]
Best would be to go mad."
(Tadeusz Konwicki, Afterglows)

And once again
the past begins

best would be to go mad
you're right Tadzio
but our generation doesn't go mad
our eyes stay open
to the very end

we don't need to be blindfolded
we have no use for the paradises
of faiths sects religions

with broken backs
we crawl on

yes Tadzio at the end
we have to relive everything
from the beginning
you know that as well as I
at times we whisper
all people will be brothers
in life's labyrinth
we encounter
distorted faces of friends

you hear me
I'll tell you an image from the past
again I'm running away
from a specter who
wrapped in a gaberdine of sky
stands in a green meadow
and speaks to me in an unknown language
I am the lord thy god
who led thee out of the house of bondage

everything starts from the beginning

once again Mr. Turski
my singing teacher
looks at me with the handsome
sweet eyes
of Omar Sharif

and I sing
the apple tree has blossomed (...)
red apples did it bear ...
I know I'm out of tune
but Mr. Turski has been smiling
at me since 1930
and I get an A
Mr. Turski in a fragrant
strange cloud
exotic and mysterious
for an elementary school
in a provincial town
between Częstochowa and Piotrków Trybunalski
and takes his mystery
to the grave

when will the past
finally end

Two excellent review-essays on Johnston's translation of Rozewicz's New Poems are available online. Ron Slate writes about it at his blog, and Rainer J. Hanshe's "Writing the Apocalypse: Voicing Silence Through Time" appears at the Nietzsche Circle.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Recently, I've been moving (from Georgia to Virginia via U-Haul), and I've been ill (shingles!), and it's taken me a while to get back to posting about writing and writing projects the readers of this blog may be interested in. But the boxes are getting emptied (thanks to my wife Linda's will and courage) and the shingles are a little less painful than they were.

So here's some of the news I've come across:

Tony Bukoski's new collection of short stories, North of the Port, is available from Southern Methodist University Press and Amazon. This is what Stuart Dybek said about the collection: "A quintessential writer of place, Bukoski is one in whom imagination is indistinguishable from empathy. A lovely, soulful book." I know Dybek has it right. I've read Bukoski's other collections about the Polish Americans living in the hard North Country, and those stories are perfect.

Phil Boiarski, the author of the powerful Coal and Ice has recently started a blog called Boiarski the Blog. There, he shares his thoughts about writing, creativity, mother's day, and reading. The site also includes generous samplings of his creative writing.
The latest issue of Mark Pawlak's journal Hanging Loose is out now and contains poems by three Polish-American: Sharon Mesmer, Stephen Lewandowski, and me. The journal and Hanging Loose Press has a rich history of publishing excellent young and established writers.
Elisabeth Murawski has recently published a poem entitle "Twelve, Awkward, with Shame" in The Literary Review. The poem is available online at ESCENE: The Best of the Literary Journals.
Polish-American poet Jeremy Edward Shiok, the editor of Two Review, wrote to invite the readers of this blog to submit to his independent, annual print journal of poetry and nonfiction. He also invites people to stop by the journal's website to get a sense of what the journal's like.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Judith Vollmer Interviewed in The Writer's Chronicle

The current issue of the Associated Writing Program's journal The Writer's Chronicle features an important and extensive interview with Polish-American poet Judith Vollmer. She discusses -- among other topics -- the cultural landscape of America, the language of poetry, and the Polish poets who have meant the most to her.

In reply to the interviewer's question "When you read Polish writers, what are you seeking?" Ms. Vollmer replies,

I'm looking for my grandmother's table. I'm looking for a garden where the dill and scallions and tomatoes border the sidewalk, and where my grandmother, even when it is eighty-five degrees, pours out a hot cup of coffee for me. I'm looking for a language I heard all the time as a child and didn't understand; and for all of the war stories my uncles and my parents told and for what the post-World War II poets have to teach us. So Szymborska, Herbert, Milosz, Rosewicz--all are important. And living in the place I do, where the boundaries are still being rewritten, that literature is crucial.


Here are two poems from Ms. Vollmer's recent book Reactor (University of Wisconsin Press, 2004):

July Evening With Ancestors

Narrow & green under the summer canopy
my daydream calls up

a sea turtle dozing on my lap so I can study
its shell, ancient model for the igloo,
a nice idea in July

& a boy streaming the hard reverb
of his black stratocaster onto the quiet street,
the hard pure sound
breaks the sauna air a little

& now a canal
tinted & flavored by gardeners &
cooks taking smoke breaks and pausing
to snip the wild mint.

The canal darkens, also,
with hands slipping sandals from tired feet,
and brightens
at each footbridge with sconces,
slender guides that light-finger the shadows.

Extended Family Genealogy

—It is better to be bored at home than go
ballistic in someone else’s space.

—Andrei Codrescu

Today I learned from the Ellis Island website
my Baci’s boat left Europe from Antwerp not Gdansk
which means she made a long overland journey
that remains unrecorded. My mother does not know

her own grandmother’s name or town or origin.
My grandmother traveled with a 2-year-old
girl not her own, entrusted to her by a lady.
Onboard she ate for the first time a banana, unpeeled,

in the company of the child, Janina,
& of corpses to be buried after the Ellis docking.
Literate at home in Krakow, she never learned English
and for 40 years kept the peace & quiet of our house.

One of my favorite poets, Li Po, was descended from
Turks. Maybe his dizzy mountain airs
offer us voyages uncharted still. My mother

is named for either Marie Antoinette
or Maria Theresa, and her maiden name,
Gunia, means horsehair in Polish but also holds origins
in Palermo whose murky radiance I have begun to trace.

My parents named me for St. Jude, patron of hopeless
causes. I have lied, cheated, & stolen. Grieved much
of it but do we ever finish. I love stealing,

not only the Desnos/”Hammock” theft,
but also the grand larceny of “The Jewel,” lifted
from Cold Mountain while reading
the translations a 100th time. (Not

theft, it’s riffling, sampling!) My affinity
with the poet Larbaud is unmistakable.
Consider too my Muir-like fevers:
when only 14 he rose at 1 a.m.

to spend 4 hours reading before returning
to work his father’s Wisconsin fields.
I claim my own and they claim me, certifiably.

My most famous blood relative, my aunt
who died a prostitute in Steubenville, warned
of the uselessness of fixed identity: “Honey, it’s like that
black coat of yours: collects everything but men & money.”

(The photograph of Judith Vollmer was taken by Anne Begler.)

Monday, April 14, 2008

News From Polish American Writers

Here are some recent activities by Polish American writers . (If you run your cursor over their names and click, you'll be taken to their websites.)

Phil Boiarski
Phil's one of the featured poets in the upcoming anthology CapCity Poets, published by Pudding House this Spring.

John Guzlowski
I've recently published two poems about my mother and her experiences during and after World War II in Chattahoochee Review: "The Evil that Men Do" and "My Aunt Sophie was 17." My poem "Fear" about the Polish poet Tadeusz Borowski (author of This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen) appears in latest issue of Hanging Loose.

Sharon Mesmer
Her new book Annoying Diabetic Bitch will be reviewed in the next issue of Rain Taxi and mentioned in a "round-up" review in an upcoming Village Voice. Connected with that, she'll be reading with the other flarf poets in the "Flarf is Life 2008 Holistic Expo & Peace Conference" in NYC from April 24-26 at three different locations:
THURSDAY, APR 24, 8 PM, DIXON PLACE, 258 BOWERY, $8 -- Film, neo-benshi, and theater
FRIDAY, APR 25, 7 PM, 300 Bowery (private home; buzz "Sherry/Thomas") -- Publication party for new books and DVDs by me & all the flarf poets
SATURDAY, APR 26, 6 PM, BOWERY POETRY CLUB, 308 BOWERY, $8 -- A Segue reading to benefit Bowery Arts and Sciences.
Her even newer book The Virgin Formica just came out and a poem from it, "Stupid University Job," will be the Academy of American Poets' emailed "Poem-of-the-Day" on April 28. And there will be a book party for TVF and all the other newly released Hanging Loose Press titles on Friday, May 2 from 6-8pm at Teachers & Writers Collaborative, 520 Eighth Avenue, Suite 2020 (between 36th and 37th Street) in New York.
Sharon is co-hosting with poet and playwright Saviana Stanescu a reading of Romanian poets visiting New York at The Romanian Cultural Institute/New York. This event is presented in conjunction with the PEN World Voices Festival, Saturday, May 3 at KGB Bar (4th St & 2nd Ave, NYC) at 7pm.

Jen Michalski
The Spring 2008 issue of Jen's online magazine JMWW features fiction by Brian S. Wang, Julia LaSalle, Mark R. Dursin, Susan O'Doherty, Kerry Langon, Brian Langston, and Willian R. Duell. Also check out flash fiction by Emily Weiss, poetry by Martin Willitts and Ellen Rittberg, and tons of book reviews! The magazine is at http://jmww.150m.com/

Mark Pawlak
Mark and several other poets will be reading their poems from Charles Fishman's anthology Blood to Remember: American Poets on the Holocaust during a Holocaust Rememberance Day commemoration, Thursday, May 1, at 7 p.m, 274 Moody Street, Waltham, Massachusetts.

There will be another reading from Blood to Remember on Sunday, May 4, 4 pm: Food for Thought Books Collective, 106 N.Pleasant Street, Amherst, MA 01002 413-253-5432.
Thad Rutkowski
Thad's doing a number of readings and presentations in the New York City Area:
April 27, Sunday, 7 p.m. Hosting ABC No Rio's NYSCA series in celebration of Hanging Loose Press. Readers are Robert Hershon, Jocelyn Lieu and Chuck Wachtel. 156 Rivington Street (between Suffolk and Clinton, one block above Delancey), Manhattan. $5.
April 30, Thursday, 7 p.m. Panel on Asian American literature, Barnard College, north tower of Sulzberger (across the street from Columbia). With Ed Lin, David Yoo and Bino A Realuyo. Info: cw2323@columbia.edu.
May 24, Saturday, 1 p.m. Poetry reading, Poets Corner, 570 Main Street (corner of Centre Avenue), New Rochelle, NY. With Juanita Torrence Thompson. Info: poetrytown@earthlink.
June 21, Saturday, 6-8 p.m. Reading at Cornelia Street Cafe with Sharon Olinka, others. Hosted by Dean Kostos. $7. http://www.corneliastreetcafe.com/.
August 15, Friday, 8 p.m. Reading for George Wallace in Huntington, L.I. Info: poetrybay@aol.com
Thad also has a new recording coming out:
Several of his pieces appear as MP3s in Susan Brennan's Radio Poetique section of PENNsound, an poetry archive sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania:

Monday, April 7, 2008

Ron Padgett's Poems in Polish

Ron Padgett has been busy recently in Poland.

He's given a number of readings there in the past, and he's been invited to take part in the Upper Silesia Arts Festival again this coming November. He's looking forward to it. He finds Poles generous and welcoming.

He's also recently published a collection of his earlier poems in a Polish-English edition. The book, entitled Swiry/Nuts, was translated by the poet Andrzej Szuba and published last year by Wydawnictwo Miniatura, 30-307 Krakow, ul. Barska 13, Poland. Their email address is miniatura@autograf.pl and their phone number is 012-267-10-39.

Here's one of Ron's poems from Swiry/Nuts and its Polish translation by Andrzej Szuba:

Ron has another collection of poems, as yet untitled, coming out later this year, and it will be published by Ars Cameralis in Katowice, Poland later this year. The translator is the poet Jacek Gutorow.

(The terrific photo above was taken by Ulla Montan in Stockholm.)

Elisabeth Murawski Awarded Hawthornden Castle Fellowship

Poet Elisabeth Murawski has recently been notified that she is a recipient of a Hawthornden Fellowship. She will be spending a month at the Hawthornden Castle writer's retreat in Scotland.

Elisabeth is the author of Moon and Mercury (Washington Writers Publishing House, 1990) and Troubled by an Angel (Cleveland State UniversityPoetry Center, 1997). Her work has appeared in Spoon River Poetry Review, The Yale Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, Field, Chelsea, Grand Street, Doubletake, Crazyhorse, The American Voice, among others. She is a native of Chicago, graduated with an MFA from George Mason and lives in Alexandria, Virginia.

Here's a poem by her from Janusz Zalewski's recent broadside dedicated to Polish-American poets:

Alias Irene

She broke loose from her father’s hand,
turned and found the small cars
circling in their route. Little boys
and girls like her were ringing the bells
of fire engines, tooting horns. No way out.
She pressed against the legs of mothers
and fathers, bumped into lines of kids
all pushing to be first. Maybe someone
here at the carnival could guess her weight
and take her to a place quiet as a church,
where dishes didn’t break. Maybe
she could win a kewpie doll with glitter
on its eyelids. Or find a nickel
in the dirt. The woman who found her
that night didn’t take her home
but gave her up over the microphone--
”We have a little lost girl called Irene.”
Even changing her name didn’t work.
She was claimed like a coat, scolded
for disobeying the rule of staying put.
Her father with his lower lip stuck out
held her hand so tight it hurt. Her mother
had that look she got scrubbing the floor
until it shone like a dinner plate.

(The broadside is available from Janusz Zalewski for $5. His address is 21784 Brixham Run Loop, Estero, FL 33928.)

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Bill Zavatsky wins Guggenheim Award

Poet Bill Zavatsky has just been informed that he has received the prestigious John Simon Guggenheim fellowship for his poetry.

Bill has recently published a book of poems with Hanging Loose Press entitled Where X Marks the Spot.

Adrienne Rich, one of the great American poets, has called this collection "a lovely heartwarming book."
Ron Padgett has written that "In poems whose language is as clear and straightforward as that of Williams or Reznikoff, Bill Zavatsky turns the floodlight of honesty onto himself, transforming by the very act of examination, his demons of anger, self-pity, loneliness, and regret. This is brave and mature work, capacious enough for elegy and humor."
I think Ron is right. I've recently read "Where X Marks the Spot," and I was impressed by Bill's honesty and gravity. He's a poet who understands that poetry is a gift that must be shared.
Here's one of Bill's poems:

Train Ride

For M.R.F.

Riding back from our day in the Big City
on the sluggish old New York, New Haven, and Hartford,
hot as blazes, train windows that couldn’t be opened, air-
conditioning years away, or broken, and dusty blue plush seats—

all romantic enough. Also it was very late, black
outside the black glossy plate glass squares that shone our images
back at us as you leaned a little against my shoulder,
then finally leaned your head against my shoulder.

No, I’m making that up. It didn’t happen that way.
Your head, I think, was turned away from me, against
the corner where the seat met the wall of the car. . . .
What happened, very slowly, was that the shaking

of the train began to send your pink hand closer and
closer to mine as my hand trembled on the seat. Closer,
closer, as if my hand were a rickety trap I had set for yours, oh,
a gentle trap, but nonetheless how much I wanted to trap

your hand, to tame it, claim it as mine—and hoped
that you would be willing to let me. That was what
the train ride home meant to me—your hand slipping towards
mine, and I pretending that I had nothing to do with it,

that it would be an inescapable conclusion, a result
of the laws of physics when finally they touched,
those two hands that at that moment seemed neither to belong
to you or to me; that no intention could bring your hand

to me, that our touch would be the result of motion, fate,
and time until I touched your fingers or they touched mine.
And when they did I took them and then your palm
in my hand and we began. And this is what I understood

as poetry, that it would come to me when I was ready,
and this is what I also first understood as love

(The photo above was taken by Margaretta K. Mitchell.)

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Call for Submissions about Poland

Thad Rutkowski forwarded to me a call he recently received for poems and short pieces about Poland for a special issue of Private Photo Review, a photographic journal.

Here's the note Thad sent me:

Dear Friend,

I have just agreed to be the poetry editor of the forthcoming issue of Private Photo Review, a distinguished international magazine of b/w photography, based in Italy and publishing the works of professional photographers from around the world.

The magazine can have either a general or a geographical theme, and also uses some texts (mostly poems) along with the pictures, although most of the space is devoted to images.

Please take a look at the magazine's website:

The forthcoming issue will be about Poland, featuring portfolios of world-famous Polish photographers. Therefore, I kindly ask you to spread this call for poetry submissions:

I need poems by Polish authors, or poems and other short texts by international writers as long as they're concerned with Poland and the Polish. The poems can be either in Polish or in English; in any case, an English translation must be provided. The poems can be sent in a single doc attachment to alex.zan@alice.it
The poems and a 40-50-word bio in English is required.

Accepted authors will receive a complimentary copy of the relevant issue.

Thank you for your co-operation!


Alessio Zanelli
Cremona, Italy
e-mail alex.zan@alice.it

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Leonard Kress on Zbigniew Herbert

I got a note from Polish-American poet Leonard Kress about a recent posting he did about Herbert at his blog, Myshkin2. The article is a response to an article titled "The Testament of Mr. Cogito" by Alissa Valles, Herbert's translator, that appeared in the Boston Review.
Leonard's posting is at his site: http://myshkin2.typepad.com/ and the article by Allisa Valles is at http://bostonreview.net/BR32.6/valles.php
(The photo above was taken by Anna Beata Bohdziewicz for the cover of The Collected Poems of Zbigniew Herbert. If you want to see many, many more of her incredible photos, you can find them at a spectacular Polish site: http://fototapeta.art.pl/2002/abb.php)