Piotr Gwiazda Gagarin Street

ISBN 13: 9780931846809

Gagarin Street

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9780931846809: Gagarin Street
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Selected for The Montserrat Review's Best Picks for Poetry 2005, GAGARIN STREET offers an edgy and disquieting meditation on the intersection of private and public history. From the title poem of Piotr Gwiazda s impressive debut collection, a recurring theme announces itself: altered history and the poet s qualified attempts at recognition, if not full reclamation. Over and over, we follow along haunted streets real and imagined, sharing our guide s disorientation as the excavated past offers little clue to the future. Names have been changed, but not to protect the innocent. This book is full of terrific, lively poems I wish I had written: Private Conversation, Avenue of the Conquered, Dispatch, The Refugee, and many others. (Gaylord Brewer) Piotr Gwiazda s Gagarin Street summons not a Kierkegaardian either/or, but the subtly complex both/and of Eastern European masters Tadeusz Rozewicz and Vladimir Holan. A scoreless song; just deepening uncertainty and silence few can tell this tale as Gwiazda can, a tale of clouds . . . dense like Philosophical Investigations, a tale and a teller strong enough to question whether the man I am should cease to be? These poems remind us how easily the Gagarin Streets of our youth may disappear, and of the poet s vital task to re-inscribe them for the future s fellow travelers. (Mark Nowak) The personae of these wry, arresting poems yield their secrets slowly, when they choose to at all. Piotr Gwiazda s world is one without certainties, where men and women communicate mainly by accident, where the streets of one s hometown have all been renamed a world both hypothetical and futuristic yet very much of this moment, home and exile no longer distinguishable. Beneath these compelling, elusive surfaces moves a penetrating and skeptical intelligence, like his characters simultaneously a refugee and a refuge. (Peter Schmitt)

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From the Publisher:

A debut volume by a Polish-American poet, this book offers an edgy and disquieting meditation on the intersection of private and public history. Gaylord Brewer says: "From the title poem of Piotr Gwiazda’s impressive debut collection, a recurring theme announces itself: altered history and the poet’s qualified attempts at recognition, if not full reclamation. Over and over, we follow along haunted streets real and imagined, sharing our guide’s disorientation as the excavated past offers little clue to the future. Names have been changed, but not to protect the innocent. This book is full of terrific, lively poems I wish I had written." Poems included in this volume appeared in many journals, including Barrow Street, Columbia, Drunken Boat, Hotel Amerika, Margie, Rattle, The Southern Review, Talisman, and Washington Square.

From the Inside Flap:

A debut volume by a Polish-American poet, Gagarin Street offers an edgy and disquieting meditation on the intersection of private and public history. A non-profit cooperative press, WWPH has published over fifty volumes of poetry and fiction since its founding in 1975. Every year the press sponsors a competition for poets living in the mid-Atlantic region. Our most recent winners include Nancy Naomi Carlson, Ned Balbo, Jane Satterfield, Dean Smith, Katherine Smith, and Moira Egan. Pulitzer Prize winner Henry Taylor has called Washington Writers’ Publishing House “one of the most successful literary experiments in the country.”

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