Available on backorder

ISBN: 978-1-937854-94-2
Categories Poetry


Publication Date: October 2013


The voices of a soldier, his wife, and his daughter interweave to tell the story of Soviet controlled, post-WWII Hungary as forces move the country toward revolution. These documentary and narrative poems expose corrupt politics, secret police, agent provocateurs, and family secrets. Extensively researched, Uprising provides a revealing glimpse into life behind the iron curtain.


“History, in its root sense, means story, and has often found its truest expression in poetry. Michele Battiste’s vivid account of the Soviet occupation of Hungary and the revolt of 1956 follows three sharply drawn characters, Jóska, Jutka and Erika, as their lives are changed by events much larger than themselves. With the intimacy of lyric and the scale of epic, Uprising brings an important story of the twentieth century close to us in vital terms. Immigration is the great human story, not just the great American story. This is a part of it everyone should remember.”

-David Mason

It’s true: a book of poems can be as rich as your favorite historical novel without losing the lyric touches and verbal compaction we associate with poetry. It can have the researched authenticity of the best non-fiction off the bookstore’s history shelf, and still come alive with poetry’s gift for the intimate, the immediate, the vivacious. Michele Battiste’s Uprising is proof of this, as it takes us through the politics, the houses of terror, the uplifted fists, the enduring loves and lusts, the childhood play and adult fears, and the generational bondings of all things Budapest circa 1944- 1956. This is an extraordinary collection, and its strain of defiant, blood-shirring gypsy music is the tonic you’ve been looking for.”

-Albert Goldbarth

About the Author

© photo by Tom Sundro Lewis

Michele Battiste

Michele Battiste is the author of two poetry collections: Ink for an Odd Cartography (2009) and Uprising (2013), both from Black Lawrence Press. She is also the author of four chapbooks, the most recent of which is Lineage (Binge Press, 2012). Her poems have appeared in journals and magazines such as American Poetry Review, Beloit Poetry Review, Anti-, The Awl, and Verse Daily, and her reviews have appeared in Rain Taxi, Open Letters Monthly, and Rattle. She has received grants, awards, and residencies from The Center for the American West, AWP, the Jerome Foundation, the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Poetry Society of Virginia, and the Blue Mountain Center. Michele has taught creative writing and literature at Wichita State University, the University of Colorado, and Gotham Writers Workshop in New York City, but she currently raises funds for nonprofits undoing corporate evil.

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