Language You Refuse to Learn

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Claudia M Stanek

Bright Hill Press
0 lbs.2 oz.
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Poetry. “LANGUAGE YOU REFUSE TO LEARN is a masterly articulation of what is spoken in the book’s title: the poems in this collection, despite individual strength, readily conspire to give an exhaustive description of the typical experience of immigrants from Central Europe to the United States in the early 20th century. Specifically the author’s poems detail her ancestor’s arrival from the confused political geography of Poland. Beginning with ‘Late Afternoon, February 16, 1905,’ and proceeding through ‘Surname,’ and definitely, ‘A Walking Tour of Central Europe on American Soil,’ the collection traces a predecessor’s settlement into rural American life and includes the inevitable complexities of physical and emotional ailments and death. These are personal in that particular people are described, but they ar described in such a generous way as to include nearly all of us.”—Martin Mitchell


Claudia M. Stanek grew up in the blur of murmurs and silences of English while living on the border of Polish- Catholic steel town Depew and German-Lutheran rural Lancaster in Western New York state. She received her MFA from Bennington College (2007). She is a founding member of the non-profit Just Poets in Rochester, NY. Her work has appeared in Conte Online, Redactions: Poetry, Poetics & Prose, Euphony, Fourth River, and Roanoke Review, among others, as well as the anthologies Cinquainicity (Palettes & Quills, 2009), Community Voices (University of Rochester, 2009), Knocking on the Silence: A Finger Lakes Anthology (Foothills, 2005), Le Mot Juste (Foothills, 2005-2010), and Common Intuitions (Palettes & Quills, 2003). Her poem “Housewife” was selected by composer Judith Lang Zaimont as the inspiration for a commissioned libretto for the 2009 Eastman School of Music’s Women in Music Festival. Claudia received a Significant Opportunity Stipend from the Arts & Cultural Council of Greater Rochester as well as a writer’s residency in Bialystok, Poland. Her work has been translated into as well as published in Polish. She lives in East Rochester, NY.


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