Poetry. Jewish Studies. "Merle Bachman's BLOOD PARTY is a remarkable memoir, told in fragments, interruptions—in ways that prohibit any fixed retelling. In it, the impossibility of telling becomes the story: of ancestry, family, and a mother's silence, pieced-together in a poetry that is always vibrating yet never arrives."—Kristin Prevallet
"Memory has its own architecture, its own geography. Yet, as Merle Bachman demonstrates in BLOOD PARTY, these are mutable—stretching and contracting within the space of experience: strafing events to get at their illogic and yet/memory, remaking. Bachman's beautifully crafted, acutely sensitive poems adroitly combine history, autobiography, and lyric meditation. If space is 'the externalization of what you really are,' then Bachman risks sculpting space in a boldly disclosive and passionate way. This is a poetry that sends messages into the hidden sites of memory and returns with color, form, and commitment."—Elizabeth Robinson
"Poetry as memoir, as autobiography, as family history: Merle Bachman's BLOOD PARTY is all this, but much more. The hybridity of Bachman's writing also produces a time warp, opens up a temporal portal through which we may pass into the heart of mid-20th century Jewish American culture, as it seeks to assure itself of its newfound and still inchoate position in the larger American landscape. Looking through the eyes of 'M,' Bachman's everygirl, we see the photos, the vignettes, the momentary gestures of a world constantly receding to an increasingly poignant horizon. Never sentimental, never anything but honest in its sympathy with the flawed, ordinary lives of succeeding generations (including her own), BLOOD PARTY is written in ways that swoop and hover, expand and contract with each emotional nuance."—Norman Finkelstein
Merle Bachman grew up in Albany, New York. She is the granddaughter of Yiddish-speaking immigrants who fled Poland and Russia and came to New York around 1912, where they tried (and failed) at chicken farming. She is the author of two full-length poetry collections published by Shearsman, DIORAMA WITH FLEEING FIGURES (2009), and BLOOD PARTY (2015). A poet who delights in writing prose and exploring what seem to be the arbitrary boundaries between these genres, she has had work published in Talisman, Chain, ABACUS, Bridges and Five Fingers Review, among other journals, as well as chapbooks published by Etherdome Press and Finishing Line Press. Syracuse University Press published her book, Recovering 'Yiddishland': Threshold Moments in American Literature, in 2008. A combination of literary criticism, translation, and memoir, it is also her dissertation for the Ph.D. in English, which she earned from the State University of New York at Albany. After living in the Boston area and, for many years, in Northern California, Bachman currently resides in Louisville, Kentucky, where she is Associate Professor of English at Spalding University and director of its Bachelor of Fine Arts program in Creative Writing. Her present projects include researching the work of Scottish-Jewish poet, A. C. Jacobs and translating the Yiddish poetry of the Bialystok émigré, Rosa Nevadovska. For the latter project, she has been named one of the National Yiddish Book Center's Translation Fellows for 2015.
Author City: LOUISVILLE, KY USA