Stalin Gets Some Love

Shelley Puhak’s Stalin in Aruba was recently reviewed by Ashlie Kauffman for JMWW. Here are some of our favorite sections:

Reading Shelley Puhak’s Stalin in Aruba with snow on the ground and the temperature below-freezing certainly helps set the mood for the emotional landscape Puhak portrays: of Soviet winters and Siberian exile; of discoveries of men frozen in the Alps; of imagined lamentations for those who have died; and of the dead themselves lamenting. It also makes the deception of the title hit home—as what seems to suggest the fun and fantastical instead bravely lays way to the grim, biting, and disturbingly and deeply real…

…Mostly all of the poems are focused on character, making flesh and blood of symbols of the past, letting a reader enter their nursing-home rooms and dining rooms and take part in their birthday parties and suicides. The closeness this creates is voyeuristic and exhilarating, the reader joining the writer in being something like the secret police…

There are more great words of praise. You can read them all here.

Stalin in Aruba is available from Black Lawrence Press and Amazon.