John Guzlowski

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About me

Gender Male
Industry Arts
Occupation writer
Location Danville, VA, United States
Introduction I was born in a refugee camp in Germany after World War II, and came with my parents Jan and Tekla and my sister Donna to the United States as Displaced Persons in 1951. My Polish Catholic parents had been slave laborers in Nazi Germany. Growing up in the immigrant and DP neighborhoods around Humboldt Park in Chicago, I met Jewish hardware store clerks with Auschwitz tattoos on their wrists, Polish cavalry officers who still mourned for their dead horses, and women who walked from Siberia to Iran to escape the Russians. My poems try to remember them and their voices. These poems have appeared in my chapbook Language of Mules and in both editions of Charles Fishman’s anthology of American poets on the Holocaust, Blood to Remember. Since retiring from teaching American Literature in 2005, I've written two new books about my parents. My new poems about them appear in my books Lightning and Ashes (Steel Toe Books, 2007) and Third Winter of War: Buchenwald (Finishing Line Press).
Interests reading, writing, history, World War II, biographies of writers, memoirs, bicycling riding, running, mowing the grass, listening to Bruce Springsteen, texas hold 'em, and emailing
Favorite Movies John Ford's Searchers, Grapes of Wrath, and Stagecoach, Kurosawa's Seven Samurai and Rashomon, anything by Fellini, Wajda's Kanal, Ashes and Diamonds, and Landscape after Battle, Kieslowski's Tri-Color Trilogy and Ten Commandments
Favorite Music Bruce Springsteen, Eva Cassady, Billie Holiday, Dave Van Ronk, Barbara Cook, Woody Guthrie, Son House and Dinah Washington
Favorite Books Toni Morrison's Beloved and Sula, Faulkner's As I Lay Dying and Sound and the Fury and Light in August, Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried, Isaac Singer's short story collection Passions, Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment

What would you name your ballet inspired by the sight of children leaping through a garden sprinkler?

If they give you bread, eat it. If they beat you, run.