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Gagarin Street
by Piotr Gwiazda
The Washington Writers' Publishing House, September 2005


A debut volume by a Polish-American poet, this book offers an edgy and disquieting meditation on the intersection of private and public history.

Piotr Gwiazda’s Gagarin Street summons not a Kierkegaardian either/or, but the subtly complex both/and of Eastern European masters Tadeusz Rozewicz and Vladimir Holan. […] These poems remind us how easily the Gagarin Streets of our youth may disappear, and of the poet’s vital task to re-inscribe them for the future’s fellow travelers. — Mark Nowak, author of Shut Up Shut Down (Coffee House Press, 2004)

The personae of these wry, arresting poems yield their secrets slowly, when they choose to at all. […].. Beneath these compelling, elusive surfaces moves a penetrating and skeptical intelligence, like his characters “simultaneously a refugee and a refuge.” — Peter Schmitt, author of Hazard Duty (Copper Beech Press, 1995)

Piotr Gwiazda was born in Olsztyn, Poland, in 1973 and came to the United States in 1991. His poems have appeared in many journals, including Barrow Street, Columbia, Drunken Boat, Hotel Amerika, Margie, Rattle, The Southern Review, Talisman, and Washington Square. He has published book reviews in Chicago Review, PN Review, Postmodern Culture, the Times Literary Supplement, and elsewhere. Gwiazda translates poetry from Polish into English and the reverse. He has been editor of Jozef Wittlin & Modern Polish and Polish-American Poetry: A Commemorative Anthology (Spuyten Duyvil/The Polish Cultural Institute, 2001). He is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, where he teaches courses in modern and contemporary poetry.

For interviews, review copies, or to arrange a reading, contact the author directly: Piotr Gwiazda, 410-455-2052, gwiazda@umbc.edu

The Washington Writers' Publishing House is a non-profit organization that has published over 50 volumes of poetry since 1973. The Press sponsors an annual competition for poets living in the Washington-Baltimore area. This year’s one of two winning poetry books is Gagarin Street by Piotr Gwiazda

WWPH has received grants from the Lannan Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, the Nation magazine, and the Poetry Society of America. Some nationally known poets the press has published include Martin Galvin, Barri Armitage, Laura Brylawski-Miller, Dan Johnson, Nancy Carlson, Jean Nordhaus, Jane Satterfield and Ned Balbo.

Washington Writers' Publishing House […] is among the most successful recent literary experiments in the country. - Henry Taylor, Pulitzer Prize Winner

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