by Anna Polonyi
Anna Polonyi – November 16, 2016
Wayword is an exploration of spirituality through distance and solitude, written along the ancient pilgrimage route Camino de Santiago. Polonyi was working as a news journalist in Paris when she decided to walk alone for a month to relearn what distance and time felt like outside of the hyper-connected 24-hour news-cycle. Her only company was a 22-pound (10 kg) backpack and an old copy of Poetry magazine. As the composer Gustav Mahler allegedly said, ‘If you think you are boring your audience, slow down.’ Polonyi has tried to slow down just enough.
Anna Polonyi is a Franco-American-Hungarian poet and writer based in Paris, France. A Harvard graduate, she is the former recipient of a Fulbright fellowship and the 2015 Sylvia Beach Short Fiction Prize. Her poems have or will soon appear with Belleville Park Pages, Canopic Jar, Two Words For, Paris Lit Up Press and Panorama: The Journal of Intelligent Travel. She is currently working on her first novel about a man-eating creature in 18th century rural France. It is based on a true story.
Arlene Gay Levine – November 29, 2016
Anna Polonyi’s collection WAYWORD deftly combines the unflinching eye of a journalist and the introspective vision of a young woman traveling alone on pilgrimage. The Way, as the Camino de Santiago is called, is arduous on many levels. Despite the challenges of the landscape and the rigors of dealing with people of all sorts along the road, Polonyi quantifies with beauty and skill what it is like to undertake such a journey. Her use of concrete poetry permits the Camino to flow visually through the pages, reminiscent of the poet’s journey through dark and light both on this particular expedition and in life. As she explains in her poem Aviles, “There is nothing like treading lightly on this good earth bearing nothing but what you can carry away.” Step by difficult step, with humor and compassion, the poet invites us to accompany her on an extraordinary passage of individuation.
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