Lauren’s collection also includes modern-day poems with related concerns and love for the people they portray.
I'm finding that part of my resistance is contributing to the resistant, creative efforts of others. And then I get the occasional surprise in the mail when projects are complete!
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Art saves lives, we say. Yes and no: nothing rescued the children of Terezín, though the drawings they left behind preserve something of their inventive play, their hopes, terror and questions. Lauren Rusk is an extraordinary observer; she brings to these artifacts a profound ability to discern in marks on a page the human complexity of the ones who made them. The great majority of these children went up in smoke in the absolute moral zero of the chimney stacks. But we can bear witness to them, still, in the precise, empathic and beautiful interventions of a poet who knows that what she can save is sometimes all we have, and never enough.
–Mark Doty, author of Fire to Fire: New and Selected Poems (National Book Award winner), Deep Lane, and other collections
Lauren Rusk resurrects the imaginations of children whose inner lives shine through contraband paper and color in artworks found when the labor camp Theresienstadt was liberated. She manages to re-create the works themselves, which often reflect a Chagall-like combination of lyricism and dissociation, and also to bring the children to life in their moments of vision and their persistent, subversive reach for beauty. Rusk serves as their transparent medium, selective and convincing, in this gem of a collection.
–Leslie Ullman, author of Progress on the Subject of Immensity (poems), Library of Small Happiness (essays), and other collections