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Silk Elegy
Sondra Gash

2003 • 123 pp. 6 x 9 1/2"

$11.95 Paperback, 978-0-9707186-1-7

Silk Elegy tells the story of a young girl from an immigrant family whose life is disrupted by a mentally ill mother.

Paterson, New Jersey, once the silk weaving capital of the United States and a center of radical unionism, provides the setting for a narrative poem by Gash. Through these connected poems, told in the voices of three members of a Jewish family at the start of the last century, Gash weaves a story about the immigrant sweatshop laborers who left their indelible mark on this mill town, while she unravels a story of family madness, love and sacrifice.

Reviews / Endorsements

Silk Elegy is a family saga, a story of memory and madness, of the nascent labor movement, of love, growth and healing.” —Alicia Ostriker

From the Book:

When Papa says we can go
I press shirts for the boys.

A dawn the bus winds
along back country roads,
leaves swirl in the air.
How will she be?
What should we say?

In the hall a patient leaps at us,
her arms sweeping wildly.
Two others are strapped
in chairs. A woman with
a blank face suddenly hisses.

From “The Visit”


Short-Listed for the The Paterson Poetry Prize

SONDRA GASH grew up in Paterson, New Jersey and currently resides in Berkely Heights, N.J. Her poems have appeared in many publications including the New York Times, Calyx, The Paterson Literary Review and U. S. 1 Worksheets. A recipient of fellowships from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts (for both fiction and poetry), the Corporation of Yaddo, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, she was awarded first prize in the Passaic County College National Allen Ginsberg Poetry Competition. She has served as a Principal for a Day in New York City, has taught at Rutgers University as well as several schools throughout the state of New Jersey. Presently she teaches creative writing to both children and adults and coordinates the poetry program at the Women’s Resource Center in Summit, NJ.

Mon, 18 Jun 2018 11:52:39 -0500