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All That Is Left, Poems by Judith Harway
The haunting story of flight and arrival in Judith Harway's All That Is Left reminds us of the dire, even deadly, choices that history can thrust upon innocent people: "A journey starts/when it is time to go." Harway's poems trace, in memorable terms, the impact of large historical currents on the lives of individuals.
“All families, as Judith Harway knows, are haunted. We’re haunted by the ghosts of ancestors who, in turn, are dreaming of us, their descendants. In this elegiac suite of poems, Harway captures the delicate threads that bind these two worlds, lost to each other. It’s a stunning work that will pierce your heart.”—Joseph Skibell
“Judith Harway’s All That is Left gathers a family’s history into poetry, right down to the least detail—the scrap of cabbage left in the soup pot, the almost fleeting imprint of a night’s waking dream, the various misunderstandings and connections that can haunt or nourish for a lifetime. Throughout this book, the longing for what Barry Lopez calls the ‘spine of narrative’ holds the poetry true to what it means to be an inhabitant of a particular place where one’s connections to history tangle and transform. Family, the inner and outer journeys of its members, and the expectations and responsibilities it places upon those members, remains a living source in these poems. Through them what is left is the human story. The ongoing song of survival.”—Kathryn Stripling Byer
“‘We die as many times as we close our eyes on memory’ reads an epigraph in Judith Harway’s wonderful new book All That is Left, and I’m grateful Harway does not close her eyes on memory. In these richly detailed and languaged poems of family and memory, history provides setting, imagery, gossip, terrors, and music... In one of the ‘Last Words’ poems, the grandfather says, ‘What the Torah asks of us is that we mouth each word as if our lives hang on it.’ Judith Harway’s poems do just that.”—Susan Firer
“Judith Harway’s All That Is Left is a mystic seance with poetry as medium bringing back the spirits of her Jewish lineage and those murdered in the Holocaust, honoring and incarnating them in her own being—the lives they lived, the love they felt—and in the process coming to terms with her Jewish identity. Her book shines like a Shabbat candle between the dark of history and an uncertain future.”—Antler
Judith Harway’s poetry has appeared in dozens of literary journals, as well as in The Memory Box, a chapbook published by Zarigueya Press in 2002. Her work has earned fellowships from the Wisconsin Arts Board, the Hambidge Center and the MacDowell Colony. She is on the faculty of the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design.
ISBN 978-1934999523, 104 pages, $18.00