Kansas Poet Laureate Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg Delves into the Unbelievable Lives of Two World War II Refugees

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For Immediate Release:
January 7, 2013
Contact: Robert Butler
Kansas Poet Laureate Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg Delves into the Unbelievable Lives of Two World War II Refugees

Lou Frydman is a Holocaust survivor. Jarek Piekalkiewicz is a former Polish resistance fighter.

Thirty years after World War II nearly destroyed them they discovered each other in Lawrence, Kansas, and began the most important friendship of their lives.

Kansas poet laureate Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg discusses her efforts over four years to capture the epic-yet-intimate story told in her book Needle in the Bone on Thursday, January 31, 2013, at 6 p.m. at the Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St.

Captured by the German army during the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, Frydman survived six concentration camps and three death marches. By the war's end everyone in his extended family had been killed except for his brother.

Determined to resist the Germans who occupied his homeland, Piekalkiewicz created his own underground army at age 16. His uncles, both instrumental in the Polish resistance, were tortured and executed by the Nazis.

After the fighting stopped Frydman and Piekalkiewicz began the long process of healing, taking different paths through the refugee camps of Europe and then through university, marriage, and work. Eventually each accepted teaching positions at the University of Kansas, where they met in 1975, becoming best friends.
Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg is the author of four collections of poetry, the novel The Divorce Girl, and The Sky Begins at Your Feet: A Memoir on Cancer, Community, and Coming Home to the Body. A certified poetry therapist, she holds workshops for people living with cancer and other serious illness, for low-income women, and for adults in transition. She is on the faculty of Goddard College in Plainfield, Vermont, and lives with her family near Lawrence.
Co-sponsored by the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education.

Admission is free. A reception precedes the event at 6 p.m. RSVP at kclibrary.org or call 816.701.3407.

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