Poetry. Based on eyewitness accounts, THE LAST STONE IN THE CIRCLE chronicles experiences of prisoners in a WWII German work re-education camp. Delving into the murkiness of human experience in the face of suffering, the poems consider the complicated choices people make in impossibly difficult circumstances and explore the sheer resilience of survival.
"In her extraordinary book THE LAST STONE IN THE CIRCLE, Irena Praitis examines the nature of evil as a central paradox of human experience. The Holocaust is the poet's occasion for an appraisal of social destruction. This serious, substantive topic is an essential addition to the genre of tragic literature."—Denise Low, author of JACKALOPE and MELANGE BLOCK, Kansas Poet Laureate 2007-2009
"These poems report from the human edge and as their readers we are changed. That they are visually simple is what makes them shocking—so few words revealing so much... of sadness, regret, outrage, pain. Underneath [it] all music offers itself everywhere. This is a clearly important book, worthy in its humanly difficult work."—Alberto Ríos, poet, memoirist, Arizona Poet Laureate 2013-2015
"This powerful debut sears itself in memory, not by its vivid descriptions making the unimaginable painfully real, but with its relentless focus on seemingly inescapable moral complicity. Such questioning—and her universal compassion—argue eloquently the importance of Praitis's achievement."—April Ossmann, poet and editor, author of Anxious Music
Irena Praitis is the author of five books of poetry, most recently RODS AND KOANS (Red Mountain Press, 2018), and a book of nonfiction prose poems. She also co- translated a volume of poems by Lithuanian poet Sonata Paliulytė. Her most recent collection, THE LAST STONE IN THE CIRCLE, received the 2015 Red Mountain Press Poetry Prize. A Fulbright Scholar to Vilnius, Lithuania, her poems, translations, essays, and reviews have appeared in more than 100 literary journals. She is a professor of creative writing and literature at California State University, Fullerton, and lives in Fullerton, California with her son, Ishaan who loves rocks.
Author City: FULLERTON, CA USA