J.J. Steinfeld

Identity Dreams and Memory Soundspreviousnext Ekstasis Editions

Is History amenable to notions of redemption, healing, and forgiveness? Or is such just an illusion, if not a lie? J.J. Steinfeld’s potent poetry bears witness to the second possibility. The son of Holocaust survivors, he cannot—does not—will not adopt either the “forget” or the “forgive” nostrums with which calamitous History is supposedly resolved. Identity Dreams and Memory Sounds is an archive of unimaginable horrors that are rendered both unforgettable and unforgivable. That the perpetrators of industrial-scale genocide are dead does not make them unassailable; that their victims are also deceased does not make their witness less salient. These are truths that Steinfeld pursues through verse that sounds agonies and anxieties. In these poems, the Post-Holocaust period reads as an existential confrontation between those who are determined to remember and to remind and those who wish to render the mass destruction of human beings as merely a policy of the past, suitable for popular consumption—i.e. entertainment—now. The jolting insistence of these poems is that the Third Reich cannot be exorcized or the Holocaust excised from our daily consciousness.
—George Elliott Clarke

Poet, fiction writer, and playwright J. J. Steinfeld lives on Prince Edward Island, where he is patiently waiting for Godot’s arrival and a phone call from Kafka. While waiting, he has published fifteen books. More than 300 of his short stories and nearly 700 poems have appeared in anthologies and periodicals internationally, and over forty of his one-act plays and a handful of full-length plays have been performed in Canada and the United States.

ISBN 978-1-77171-061-9
80 pages
6 x 9
Now available
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