Slicing the Bread. Children's Survival Manual in 25 Poems, a chapbook inspired by war memories of family and friends, Finishing Line Press December 2014.
ISBN-10: 1622296877 ISBN-13: 978-1622296873. Read more on the Poetry Laurels blog.
This unique poetry collection revisits the dark days of World War II and the post-war occupation of Poland by the Soviet Union that “liberated” the country from one foreign oppression to replace it with another. The point of view is that of children, raised by survivors, scarred by war, wary of politics. Children experienced the hunger and cold, witnessed the killings, saw the darkening blood spilled on the snow and hands stretching from locked boxcar windows. Some heardthe voices of murdered Jews like “bees in the breeze,” others learned never to throw any food away, because “war is hunger.” The poems, each inspired by a single object giving rise to memories like Proust’s madeleine (a spoon, a coat, the smell of incense), are divided into three sections, starting with snapshots of World War II in the Polish Borderlands (Kresy) and in central Poland. Reflections onthe Germans’ brutalkillings of Jews and Poles are followed by insights into the way the long shadow of THE war darkened a childhood spent behind the Iron Curtain. For poet Georgia Jones Davis, this book, “brings the experience of war into shocking, immediate focus” through Trochimczyk’s use of “her weapon: Language at its most precise and lyrical, understated and piercingly visual.”
According to Pulitzer-Prize nominated poet John Guzlowski, These “poems about what the Poles suffered both during World War II and The Cold War afterwards are written with the clarity of truth and the fullness of poetry… Here are the stories of how the people she loved experienced hunger and suffering and terror so strong that it defined them and taught her, and teach us, the meaning of family.” A fellow Polish-American poet, Linda Nemec Foster praises the “unwavering honesty” and “stark imagery” of Trochimczyk’s poetry that “bear witness to the hate that destroys, to the truth that restores, and to the poetic vision that honors our common humanity.” The Tieferet Prize winner and Poets-Café host Lois P. Jones points out the “vivid and heartbreaking detail” of poems that “will move you to appreciate the simple privileges and necessities of life.” As Jones wisely observes “It is the duty of the poet to convey story, but it is the art of the poet who can transform our often cruel and brutal history and affect forever, the way we look and listen to the world.” Poet Sharon Chmielarz concurs: “You will remember the taste of this book.”
Meditations on Divine Names. Moonrise Press, 2012.
An anthology of contemporary poetry edited by Maja Trochimczyk.
Published in March 2012. ISBN 978-0-9819693-8-1, 216 pages, paperback. Read more about Meditations.
This anthology of contemporary poetry features 140 poems by 64 poets associated with diverse spiritual traditions. Their poems represent various branches of Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Kabbalah, Wicca, Sukiyo Mahikari, and express ideas from ancient Greek, Egyptian, Hawaiian, and Slavic religions. The book is divided into ten paired sections: Naming, Names, Earth, Water, Air, Fire, He, She, Being, and Loving.
Chopin with Cherries: A Tribute in Verse. Moonrise Press, 2010.
An anothology of poetry edited by Maja Trochimczyk.This volume celebrates the 200th birth anniversary of a Polish pianist-composer, Fryderyk Chopin (1810-1849) in a selection of 123 poems by 92 contemporary poets, mostly based in America. The hightlights include the first English translation of Norwid's Fortepian Szopena by Leonard Kress, and classic poems by Emma Lazarus, Amy Lowell and T.S. Eliot.
Published in February 2010 by Moonrise Press.
ISBN 978-0-9819693-0-5. Available in Paperback and PDF.
Read more about this anthology on the Chopin with Cherries blog.
Review by John Z. Guzlowski in The Cosmopolitan Review 2 no. 1 (Spring 2010).
From a review by Christopher Woods in Contemporary World Literature 5 (February 2011): "For those who have been moved by the music of Fryderyk Chopin, this new international anthology will be a treat... One breathtaking aspect of the anthology is the diversity of voices, both stylistically and geographically... [Among] the striking aspects of the anthology is the way in which the editor, Polish born Maja Trochimczyk, arranges the various sections, not only by musical forms, but also into sections like beauty and death, words that often come to mind when considering Chopin's life, his passions and his early demise."
Rose Always - A Court Love Story. Moonrise Press, 2008, rev. 2011.
Read a sample of 12 poems here. Surprisingly sweet and gentle, this "novella in verse" is a love story of a crime victim and a troubled man, an ex-offender on a path to redemption. The story is told through 85 brief, lyrical poems and 24 narrative fragments, featuring stylized excerpts of court records and an array of allusions and quotations. Inspired by the Songs of Songs and centuries of love poems, from Sappho to Milosz.
Published in 2008, revised in 2011.
Revised paperback edition,152 pp. ISBN 978-0-9819693-4-3
Google Books: Rose Always Illustrated Preview.
Original hardcover edition with photographs ISBN 978-0-9819693-1-2
From the review by Margaret Saine, in the California Quarterly (Fall 2015):
"Poems are arranged according to the Phoenician-Hebrew-Greek alphabet, whose letters are paralleled by ideas, or allegories: Aleph-Alpha is Wishing or Annunciatio, and contains four poems; Beta is Seeing or Revelatio; in Zeta, we find Knowing, or Dilectio [from which derives the modern word ‘Delight’, and which means love]. As can be seen, each time the second term in Latin is always religious, reminding us of Medieval mysticism, or of the structure of a breviary, the rosary, and a Via Crucis. Indeed Trochimczyk quotes as one of her inspirations the blessed Hadewijch, or Édvige, the 13th century poet and mystic from Brabant. Each idea or allegory is suggestively superimposed on a black-and-white partial photograph of a rose, based on photographs by the author."
"The epic aspect of Rose Always is exemplified first of all by the narrative texts on the page immediately under the Greek letters, always on the left, or even page, of the book; they are set off by a font that differs from that of the poems to follow. Some of the narrative texts consist of the twelve stages of a court case, whose vagaries, complete with probation hearings, reach as far into the book as the letter Taw-Tau and are outlined in black. . . It is a pleasure to detect the intricate structure of this book of poems so reminiscent of the European and Latin American Baroque. But the greatest pleasure by far is to let oneself be carried by the profusion of poems that fill this lyrical cornucopia."
Miriam's Iris, or Angels in the Garden. Moonrise Press, 2008.
Read a sample of poems here. A collection of 60 poems organized around appearances of six angels: Amor, Eros, Eloe, Thanatos, Ellenai, and Sophia. The poems are intertwined with interludes of memory, nostalgia, and nature mysticism. The book is illustrated with photos of landscapes and gardens of Southern California. Published in 2008. Distributed by Amazon.com, lulu.com, etc.
Paperback: ISBN 978-0-578-00166-1
Google Books: Miriam Preview.
Hardcover with Color Photos (Second Edition, 126 pp.):ISBN 978-0-9819693-2-9.
Reviewed by G. Murray Thomas, at poetix.net (February 2010). "Rarely does one find a book of poetry which holds together as well as Miriam's Iris."
From a review by Margaret Saine, for the California Quarterly (Fall 2015):
"Each garden represents, or is represented by, an angel, from Amor to Sophia, standing for the sixtuple sequence of Romance, Desire, Grief, Death, Peace, and Wisdom. Each of these cycles is again represented by six poems, like pearls on a necklace. These six allegorical gardens, or in modern terms, emotions and stages of life, represent a progression in which, significantly, death is not the end, but is overcome by the last two, the transcendent and still deeply utopian personal visions of Peace and Wisdom. The poet concludes each of the six sections with an Interlude, a transition path into the next garden, as it were: the ending becomes a new beginning. These interludes remind me of the musical “Promenades” that Mussorgsky interposes between the sound paintings of his “Pictures at an Exhibition.” In turn, each interlude at the end of the garden is followed by a free-flowing tanka or haiku-like text in Italics titled “In Passing,” flanked on each side by blank pages, that is, open on each side, to past and future, as if to epitomize the open-endedness and volatility of poetry and the human experience."
"Though this structure seems somewhat rigorous, as described here, without the delicate poetry it envelops, it is far from rigid, creating an almost novelistic air, there is a supple feeling indeed to the succession of poems. One after the other, the garden chapters, or outdoor chambers, as it were, are suspenseful to read and filled with delicious surprises...I would like to recommend this book warmly to the reader... "
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