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Distant Survivors

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by: June Prager
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Publication Date: December 4, 2018
Book Size: 6" x 9"
Pages: 54
Binding: Perfect Bound
ISBN: 9781943416134

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Book Synopsis
“Distant Survivors is quintessential Heyen poetry; incendiary, intransigent, challenging and provocative.” Joyce Carol Oates

“Heyen is himself an American. But he is an American who is the son of a German of the generation which produced the Nazis and the nephew of a Nazi flyer shot down over Russia, and the question, What is man?, becomes for him the more agonizing question, What am I?” Archibald MacLeish

“Bill Heyen’s poetry is important for people to hear, especially for college students who are ready to grapple with the same issues as he does in his poetry.” Abby Johnson, Education Chair, Vassar Jewish Union Board Religious and Spiritual Life, Vassar College, NY

“The gift of remembering through this remarkable play becomes a powerful antibiotic against the plague of anti-Semitism of yesteryear, aware that it still resides among us today and tomorrow.” Pastor Daniel B. Ward, St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church,NY

“The play is a masterful and compelling weave of history, poetry, and second generation witnessing. The work explores with sensitivity and depth the stance of a second generation German-American who feels the burden of the Holocaust…a profound and moving theatrical experience.” Jan Zlotnik Schmidt, SUNY/New Paltz Distinguished Teaching Professor
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About The Author
June Prager has a broad range of experience in both the artistic and administrative areas of theatre. She has served as Producing Artistic Director for several theatres in New York and Philadelphia. Her work with new American plays encompasses directing, literary management, and on-site evaluations of theatre productions and manuscripts for several prestigious institutions such as New Dramatists, the Rockefeller Foundation, and American Playhouse. Her administrative experience includes strategic planning, marketing, program development, and fund raising.

Ever since William Heyen wrote The Swastika Poems four decades ago, he has penned books of poems that come to grips with the horrors of Nazi Germany. His book, The Candle: Poems of Our 20th Century Holocausts, is the collection of poems on which “Distant Survivors” is largely based. Heyen’s poems can’t explain how Adolf Hitler could have put in place a hateful Nazi ideology and deadly bureaucracy that killed 6 million Jews and many others, but the poems are a chilling reminder of the sheer brutality of it all.
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