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FROM O:JA&L’S BUTTONHOOK PRESS

POLISH POETS IN BEDS WITH GIRLS

And Other True Stories

A Novella of the Interwar Years 1919-1939

ERIK HARPER KLASS

What the first critics are saying…

Polish Poets in Beds with Girls exhibits a fascinating and artful mix of history, fiction, nonfiction, poetry, footnotes, the semifictional (and autofictional) lives of Erik Harper Klass and his lover Rachel, and snippets about the actual lives of eight renowned Polish poets and their lovers. The force that holds this mighty mix together is the work of poet Vladimir Mayakovsky. Klass’s book will awaken readers to the strangeness of literature and history, and to the strangeness of life and love.

PAMELYN CASTO
Author of Flash Fiction: Alive in the Flicker (A Portable Workshop).

 

Klass offers a dense, thoroughly researched story laden with symbolism, which seems, above all, to be saying this: art exists. This work is. Art stands (sometimes literally) above what changes and what doesn’t, outlives giants, and imbues repetitive, sometimes hopeless lives with color. For anybody who finds that meaning important, Polish Poets is a work worth taking in. . . . [It is] a multi-layered, provocative, and well-told story about art for art’s sake, language for language’s sake, and meaning-making itself.

RACHEL CUSTER
NEA Fellow (2019) and the author of Flatback Sally Country

 

We listen with sympathy and fascination to this series of intimate colloquies that Klass has created in his captivating narrative on several notable Polish poets of the interwar years (1919–1938). Feelings matter here—the relationships between the lovers. The expansive descriptions of tiny things matter here. The internal monologues of the individual poets matter here—their musings on the condition of the world around them. But it is the blending of all these things in Klass’s precise proportions that matters most. His many thoughtfully nuanced ingredients in this literary recipe are the result of exhaustive research, and his efforts provide his readers with the ultimate experience of the vibrant Polish poetic community of the first half of the twentieth century.

VERA FALENKO
2017 graduate of the Moscow Aviation Institute and contributing editor and translator at Open: Journal of Arts & Letters

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