Ugly Duckling Presse

The Hero Auden / '80s Pink
The Hero Auden / '80s Pink

Stacy Szymaszek

Poetry | $12 $10
Fall 2017
Buy"Szymaszek writes like she loves this planet."
In this diptych of poems, Stacy Szymaszek constructs a multiplicity of selves and desires in language that bends, stimulates, disorients, and satisfies, giving free reign to obsessions over identity, queerness, the broad landscape of corporeality that makes these obsessions possible, and with death—in particular, social death. A Reagan-era childhood looms in the “permission to have a story / denied." Szymaszek’s “story” is a collectivity of narratives overlooked, rejected, and untold—a series of snapshots and moments, skirting linearity, bubbling beneath the surface. Excerpt ˇ


later in life

a Catholicism like Auden’s
obligation to the inescapable
reality of this world

verses Poles with nothing
walking the entire
day to Czestochowa

sofa propped up
on bricks burn
mark wreathed
by a stain

fire started by a cigarette
doused with a martini

I have been invited to Paris! Close ˆ

About the Author

Stacy Szymaszek
Stacy Szymaszek is a poet and arts administrator. She is the author of the books Emptied of All Ships (2005), Hyperglossia (2009), hart island (2015) and Journal of Ugly Sites and Other Journals (2016), which won the Ottoline Prize from Fence Books. Her book A Year From Today is forthcoming in 2017 with Nightboat Books. She received the 2014 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry. Szymaszek is a regular teacher for Naropa University’s Summer Writing Program, and a mentor for Queer Art Mentorship. She is the current Director of The Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church.

Advance Praise

Sometimes when I read Stacy Szymaszek I feel that I am watching colors in the sky. I want to say what she says, "ground me in your palette / and I can hang on." Cause once again in these poems Szymaszek brings the full emotive soundscape of the gai flaneur so versed in their time, they dare imagine behind it. Like time was a televised game of tennis where you look into the past then back to the future, to the bye bye beyond-the-horizon of what we can be, back and forth. The present is the poem, "watched by every human love", formed and styled with the obsession of a lover. Casual obsession -- is that a thing? The voice of Szymaszek is everywhere hovering over the object of the word. Could Auden have imagined these sonic "with-it sermons" and the prismatic frenzy of her collage, the mystical sum of Real where dreams of summering & poet-adulting meet the street of "dumpsters as entry to / and exit from time". Szymaszek writes like she loves this planet.—Ana Božicevic