Emergency Press, 9780983022602, 66pp.
Publication Date: March 10, 2011
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"Strata" is a series of interconnected lyric prose poems that fluctuate between order and chaos like flocks of swallows rearranging themselves in flight. The rhythmic oscillation of the poems builds into a postmodern story that weaves through the life of a poet who's migrated from Poland to the U.S. The world is magnificently large from any vantage point and Chrusciel helps us locate something larger than ourselves by constantly holding both the particular of her life and the universe at each moment. With the title, "Strata," meaning "loss" in Polish and "accretion" in English, Chrusciel braids, juxtaposes, and synthesizes through repetition, despite a wide range of subjects. Her alchemy includes exquisite details about parents and ancestry, the paradoxes of belonging to two languages, the miracles of existence, the joy and angst of love and belonging, the sorrow and dislocation of Eastern block politics, and a chorus of spiritual incantation and transient revelation.