Vilnius Diary (Mudfish Individual Poet)

Halberstadt, Anna

Published by Box Turtle Press
ISBN 10: 189365415X / ISBN 13: 9781893654150
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Synopsis: Poetry. Jewish Studies. With the concentrated precision of poetry, VILNIUS DIARY has also the richness of a novel and the intimacy of a memoir. Memory, loss, and immigration are captured in poignant images. Each poem inhabits a dual time and space. Never simply a lament, Halberstadt weaves together the sacred and the wildly profane, lighting the great darkness with wit and laughter.

"Anna Halberstadt's VILNIUS DIARY kept me reading late into the night. With the concentrated precision of poetry, it has also the richness of a novel and the intimacy of memoir. One poem leads to the next with addictive power, moving from her childhood in Lithuania to her later life in New York by way of Moscow, Vienna, and Rome. Memory, loss, and immigration are captured in poignant images: the print of cat's paws in the dust of an attic in Vilnius, a knitted cap clutched in white-knuckled hands at the Moscow airport, buildings in Rome 'peeling and bruised like old hand-made shoes,' a grandfather's grave buried in beer cans in the vandalized Jewish cemetery of Kaunas, pigeons huddling on a New York street 'like small-time drug pushers.' There's an occasional lyrical burst of feeling for the natural world, as in 'the enormous palace of the evening sky.' Throughout, the poet returns again and again to Vilnius: 'provincial, sleepy, magical,' 'Atlantis of disappeared life,' its cobblestones stained with the blood of pogroms. The reader, like the writer, will fall under its spell, haunted by the terrible magic of the city. 'VILNIUS DIARY' is impossible to forget."—Elizabeth Dalton

"'The need to forget gradually / turned into a need to remember,' Anna Halberstadt writes in this moving autobiographical collection of poems, which keeps returning to her Jewish childhood in Lithuania, her interim time in Russia, her first hardscrabble years in New York. VILNIUS DIARY is a fine book of days—scrupulously remembered, refreshingly truthful, deeply astonished."—Edward Hirsch

"History's a glowing lamp held slightly aloft in Anna Halberstadt's hand. She guides us wisely, richly, and satirically across continents, tough choices and the gorgeous pithy details of otherwise overwhelming tragedies and truths. I love this book—across all of it and poem by poem because it's like a kind of careful shopping, she weighs and feels each thing and remembers to read her own heart too and the hearts of all the lost and known friends, the cousins and lovers and parents and strangers—waiting in rooms and getting on trains, acting, vanishing, all of it, all of them. This beautiful book lives most perfectly in the throbbing heart of our time."—Eileen Myles

"This is a brilliant collection that immerses the reader from the first lines, sweeping us away... Anna Halberstadt's VILNIUS DIARY begins its poetic journey from behind the Iron Curtain only five years after the Holocaust. The poet's elegiac tone mourns and celebrates the Vilnius of her youth and like Sebald's Austerlitz images seem to flow effortlessly in an unending succession to evoke the drowned world of the past... In image after incantatory image the poet tells us of her immigration from Russia; in Rome 'persimmons like orange lanterns / hanging on naked branches;' the wrenching up of roots and replanting them in the unfamiliar soil of America, a nine-year-old-son and two aging parents in tow... Each poem inhabits a dual time and place... The genius of VILNIUS DIARY lies in its refusal to be circumscribed. Never simply a lament, Halberstadt weaves together the sacred and the wildly profane, lighting the great darkness with wit and laughter. This is the poet who calls God a bastard but recognizes divinity in a beehive, the poet who mourns a family tree cut off during the Shoah, yet wickedly observes changing women's fashions. Literate in three languages, she gives us VILNIUS DIARY in English. . . . The collection not unlike the immigrant's initiation into a Viennese s

About the Author: Anna Halberstadt was born and raised in Vilnius, Lithuania. At the age of eighteen she moved to Moscow to study psychology at Moscow State University. She immigrated to New York twelve years later and earned a degree in social work. Since 1980, she has worked as a clinician, teacher, and administrator of mental health clinics. Anna has published many works in the field of psychology but has found poetry to be a more adequate and condensed way to expand on the same themes—growing up as a child of Holocaust survivors in a country still struggling with past trauma, living in three countries (Lithuania, Russia, U.S.), and immigration. Her creative work has appeared in Bluestem, Forge, Amarillo Bay, Cimarron Review, St. Petersburg Review, Tiferet and Mudfish, and in translation in the Lithuanian journals Literatūra Ir Menas and Šiaurės Atėnai. She lives in New York with her husband, the artist Vitaly Komar.

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Title: Vilnius Diary (Mudfish Individual Poet)
Publisher: Box Turtle Press
Book Condition: Very Good

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Book Description Box Turtle Press/Attitude Art, Incorporated, 2014. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Poetry. Jewish Studies. With the concentrated precision of poetry, VILNIUS DIARY has also the richness of a novel and the intimacy of a memoir. Memory, loss, and immigration are captured in poignant images. Each poem inhabits a dual time and space. Never simply a lament, Halberstadt weaves together the sacred and the wildly profane, lighting the great darkness with wit and laughter. Anna Halberstadt s VILNIUS DIARY kept me reading late into the night. With the concentrated precision of poetry, it has also the richness of a novel and the intimacy of memoir. One poem leads to the next with addictive power, moving from her childhood in Lithuania to her later life in New York by way of Moscow, Vienna, and Rome. Memory, loss, and immigration are captured in poignant images: the print of cat s paws in the dust of an attic in Vilnius, a knitted cap clutched in white-knuckled hands at the Moscow airport, buildings in Rome peeling and bruised like old hand-made shoes, a grandfather s grave buried in beer cans in the vandalized Jewish cemetery of Kaunas, pigeons huddling on a New York street like small-time drug pushers. There s an occasional lyrical burst of feeling for the natural world, as in the enormous palace of the evening sky. Throughout, the poet returns again and again to Vilnius: provincial, sleepy, magical, Atlantis of disappeared life, its cobblestones stained with the blood of pogroms. The reader, like the writer, will fall under its spell, haunted by the terrible magic of the city. VILNIUS DIARY is impossible to forget. Elizabeth Dalton The need to forget gradually / turned into a need to remember, Anna Halberstadt writes in this moving autobiographical collection of poems, which keeps returning to her Jewish childhood in Lithuania, her interim time in Russia, her first hardscrabble years in New York. VILNIUS DIARY is a fine book of days scrupulously remembered, refreshingly truthful, deeply astonished. Edward Hirsch History s a glowing lamp held slightly aloft in Anna Halberstadt s hand. She guides us wisely, richly, and satirically across continents, tough choices and the gorgeous pithy details of otherwise overwhelming tragedies and truths. I love this book across all of it and poem by poem because it s like a kind of careful shopping, she weighs and feels each thing and remembers to read her own heart too and the hearts of all the lost and known friends, the cousins and lovers and parents and strangers waiting in rooms and getting on trains, acting, vanishing, all of it, all of them. This beautiful book lives most perfectly in the throbbing heart of our time. Eileen Myles This is a brilliant collection that immerses the reader from the first lines, sweeping us away. Anna Halberstadt s VILNIUS DIARY begins its poetic journey from behind the Iron Curtain only five years after the Holocaust. The poet s elegiac tone mourns and celebrates the Vilnius of her youth and like Sebald s Austerlitz images seem to flow effortlessly in an unending succession to evoke the drowned world of the past. In image after incantatory image the poet tells us of her immigration from Russia; in Rome persimmons like orange lanterns / hanging on naked branches; the wrenching up of roots and replanting them in the unfamiliar soil of America, a nine-year-old-son and two aging parents in tow. Each poem inhabits a dual time and place. The genius of VILNIUS DIARY lies in its refusal to be circumscribed. Never simply a lament, Halberstadt weaves together the sacred and the wildly profane, lighting the great darkness with wit and laughter. This is the poet who calls God a bastard but recognizes divinity in a beehive, the poet who mourns a family tree cut off during the Shoah, yet wickedly observes changing women s fashions. Literate in three languages, she gives us VILNIUS DIARY in English. . . . The collection not unlike the immigrant s initiation into a Viennese supermarket beautiful fruit in precious wrappers / War. Seller Inventory # AAC9781893654150

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