Monday, August 8, 2011

War Remembered - John Guzlowski


Lightning and Ashes:
Two Lives Shaped by World War II

Reading, Book Signing, Discussion

11 October 2011 – St. Francis College,
Founders Hall Theater / Callahan Center
180 Remsen St., Brooklyn Heights, NY
4:00pm – 6:00pm
Free and Open to the Public – Refreshments
A Video of Dr. Guzlowski's Reading is HERE
Editions Bibliotekos is pleased to announce that John Guzlowski will become part of a series sponsored by the English Department of St. Francis College. John’s reading and discussion will be the third such event initiated by us and hosted by St. Francis. The first event featured author Mitch Levenberg and poets Ruth Sabath Rosenthal, Lynne Shapiro, Anique Taylor, and Anne Whitehouse as a panel. The second event featured Nahid Rachlin who read from her acclaimed memoir Persian Girls. All of these authors are contributors to various Bibliotekos anthologies.

Born in a refugee camp after World War II, John Guzlowski came with his family to the United States as a Displaced Person in 1951.  His parents had been slave laborers in Nazi Germany. Growing up in the immigrant and refugee neighborhoods around Humboldt Park in Chicago, he met hardware store clerks with Auschwitz tattoos on their wrists, Polish cavalry officers who still mourned for their dead comrades, and women who had walked from Siberia to Iran to escape the Russians. His poetry, fiction, and essays try to remember them and their voices.

His poems also remember his parents, who survived their slave labor experiences in Nazi Germany. A number of these poems appear in his books Language of Mules, Lightning and Ashes, and Third Winter of War: Buchenwald. 

Winner of the Illinois Arts Award for Poetry, short-listed for the Bakeless Award, and nominated for four Pushcart Prizes, his poems and stories have appeared in such national journals as Ontario Review, Chattahoochee Review, Atlanta Review, Nimrod, Crab Orchard Review, Marge, Poetry East, Vocabula Review and in the anthology Blood to Remember: American Poets on the Holocaust. He was the featured poet in the 2007 edition of Spoon River Poetry Review. Garrison Keillor read Guzlowski’s poem “What My Father Believed” on his program, The Writers Almanac.

Dr. Guzlowski’s critical essays on contemporary American, Polish, and Jewish authors can be the found in such journals as Modern Fiction Studies, Polish Review, Shofar, Polish American Studies, Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction, and Studies in Jewish American Literature.

Nobel Laureate Czeslaw Milosz, reviewing the Polish translation of Language of Mules, for the journal Tygodnik Powszechny, said, “This volume astonished me.” 

A Professor Emeritus at Eastern Illinois University, John Guzlowski currently lives in Danville, Virginia, where he recently completed a novel about the German soldiers who murdered his mother’s family during the Second World War.

He keeps a blog about his parents’ experiences as Polish slave laborers and DPs at .