Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Part 2 of Interview with Janet R. Kirchheimer

[Note, Added August 17, 2016: The poetry performance film noted below as BE●HOLD has been renamed. It is now called After: A Poetry Film. Also, a trailer has been released. See the FaceBook page below.]

You will find me today at the TweetSpeak Poetry blog, where the second segment of my three-part interview with poet and filmmaker Janet R. Kirchheimer is posted.

In Part 1, Janet spoke with me about her experiences as the daughter of Holocaust survivors from Germany, her decision to become a poet and filmmaker, and her thoughts about poetry as the only "language" in which to write about the Holocaust. Today, in Part 2, we talk about Janet's recent collaboration with photographer Aliza Augustine on the multimedia exhibition, "How to Spot One of Us", on view through May 18 at Kean University's Human Rights Institute Gallery in New Jersey. Next week, in Part 3, we conclude with a discussion about Janet's conception of the Holocaust-related project BE•HOLD, currently in production, and her objectives for the performance film. 

A New York City resident, Janet is a Teaching Fellow at CLAL and the author of the poetry collection How to Spot One of Us (CLAL - National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, 2007). 

Janet generously provided the family photographs, stills from BE•HOLD, and poems that accompany our interview and this introduction.


"I came across something," my father tells me
as I'm driving him to cardiac rehab, "in my mind,"
as if his mind were a filing cabinet
or the dish where coins and keys are kept.
It was something an old man told him when he was a boy,
how the stones freeze in winter, but the dogs
who chase you don't, and two days later we're sitting
on the back porch on Rosh Hashanah afternoon,
and he tells me that the way of life
he grew up with in southern Germany
no longer exists and if he thinks about it too much
it will make him crazy and is not worth
the consequences, and I want to tell him that I can hear
the hazzan singing in shul, and I can smell the raisin challahs
his mother baked for a sweet New Year.
But it will not stop the dogs, so we just sit there
and watch the birds that have gathered at the feeder.


Part 1, "Holocaust Poems: Interview with Poet and Filmmaker Janet R. Kirchheimer", April 29, 2015

Part 2, "Holocaust Poems: Interview with Poet and Filmmaker Janet R. Kirchheimer" , May 6, 2015

Part 3, May 13, 2015

After: A Poetry Film (formerly, BE•HOLD) on FaceBook

Aliza Augustine Photography: Website and FaceBook

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