Slicing the Bread
Published by Finishing Line Press (December 2014)
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, Maja’s “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.”
MAJA TROCHIMCZYK, Ph.D., is a poet, music historian, photographer, and non-profit director born in Poland and living in California (www.trochimczyk.net). She published three collections of poems: Rose Always and Miriam’s Iris (Moonrise Press), and Slicing the Bread (Finishing Line Press). She also edited two anthologies of poetry, Chopin with Cherries and Meditations on Divine Names that offer “rich poetic material selected and collected with great sensitivity” (Prof. Grażyna Kozaczka, Polish Review, 2014). Hundreds of Trochimczyk’s articles and poems appeared in English, Polish, as well as in German, French, Chinese, Spanish and Serbian translations. The venues for her poetry have included: The Loch Raven Review, Epiphany Magazine, Lily Review, Ekphrasis Journal, Quill and Parchment, Magnapoets, SGVGPQ, Cosmopolitan Review, The Scream Online, The Original Van Gogh’s Ear Anthology, Clockwise Cat, Lummox Journal, Phantom Seed, Colorado Boulevard, Poezja Dzisiaj, OccuPoetry, as well as many anthologies.
As a music historian, Trochimczyk presented papers at over 70 national and international conferences in Poland, France, Germany, Hungary, U.K., Canada, the U.S. and Australia. She published six books on music, including studies of Chopin, Lutoslawski, Andriessen and Polish folk dance in California. Her research papers appear in over 40 book chapters and peer-reviewed journals. She received fellowships and awards from the American Council of Learned Societies, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, USC, McGill University, MPE Fraternity, Polish American Historical Association, City and County of Los Angeles, and Poland’s Ministry of Culture. The Sixth Poet Laureate of Sunland-Tujunga (2010-2012) and the founder of Moonrise Press, Trochimczyk is also a non-profit director, the Communications Director and Board Secretary for the Polish American Historical Association, as well as a member of various editorial boards and poetry groups (including Westside Women Writers, Poets on Site, Village Poets and more).
Leah Maines, Editor
Finishing Line Press
P.O. Box 1626, Georgetown, KY 40324
Maja Trochimczyk, Ph.D.
Sunland, CA 91341-4288