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October 03 , 2007

A Certain Frame of Reference


Ruth Steinberg's Frame of Reference is the Holocaust. But the Holocaust is a minor character in these gripping and evocative poems. The major players are the poet and her parents as they learn to live in the aftermath of their dislocation, trauma and loss. With an honesty that adds intensity to the poems, she uses her poetic power to explore the implications and consequences of her history.

"I was deeply moved by these poems and admiring of the line Steinberg walks: speaking of the unspeakable is a daunting task for a writer and she always avoids the cheap shot, the sentimental, and the overstated. The naturalness of her diction makes the work extremely powerful."
-Mary Gordon, author of Pearl and Final Payments

"In this extraordinary poetic depiction of Ruth Steinberg's memories, impressions and legacies as a child survivor of the Holocaust, the poet shows us how important it is to name the unnamable. Through clear, poetic language, she transforms familiar images and language into a startling expressive language of her own. Through her poetic questions and her frame of reference, she shows us the fragile nature of identity. She bears witness and beckons readers to remember and bear witness alongside her."
-June Gould, author of The Writer in All of Us

"These indelible, carefully wrought poems of the Holocaust will not leave your consciousness. Seared by memories of her early years, poet Steinberg is weighted with a lifelong sense of responsibility to remain a witness, to remember. Her poems will pierce your sensibility and leave a residue of what it was like, as the writer puts it, to 'embroider my mind with yellow stars'. I am grateful to Ruth Steinberg for this important contribution to Holocaust literature and to poetry."
-D.H. Melhem, author of New York Poems

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