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NEIGHBORHOOD OF GRAY HOUSES     poems by Derek Annis
Between Sleeping & Waking   poems by Albert Goldbarth
Though the Walls Are Lit      poems by Emily Holt
DON’T TOUCH THE BONES  |  Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach
DON’T TOUCH THE BONES | Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach  
  Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach

ISBN 978-1-7333400-2-1     $18  /  $24 (Canada)     5.5 x 8.5       

100 pp      
PUB DATE: March 2020       Book Release Featured News Poetry


Don’t Touch the Bones, this remarkable second collection by Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach, shows its author hard at work to transform the experience of cultural losses—of lands, language, and legacy—into a poetry of remembrance, homage, and power. She inherited generations of memories and found an uncommon resolve to record the emotional life of her people, Jews only recently emigrated from Ukraine. Though she might be seen as a documentarian of loss, her voice is not hectoring but elegiac, bringing a ferocious lyricism to what might otherwise be the repressed microhistories, lost narratives of exile, and heirlooms of desperation and diaspora. Her poems rake the oracle bones of her family’s flight from persecution, reading in their fissures a dialogic language both of sorrow and determination.

—Garrett Hongo, author of Coral Road

About the Author

Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach

Julia Kolchinsky DasbachJulia Kolchinsky Dasbach emigrated from Ukraine as a Jewish refugee when she was six years old. She is the author of The Many Names for Mother (Kent State University Press, 2019), winner of the 2018 Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize, and the chapbook, The Bear Who Ate the Stars (Split Lip Press, 2014). Her third collection, 40 WEEKS, written while pregnant with her daughter, is forthcoming from YesYes Books in 2021. Her poems appear in POETRY, American Poetry Review, and The Nation, among others. Julia is the editor of Construction Magazine. She holds an MFA from the University of Oregon and is completing her Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania. She lives in Philly with her two children, two cats, one dog, and one husband.


Ruins of Pompeii, or Ancestry

Not whole, the way we know them now, but fragmentary
hollow skeletals that seal the human or reveal
what it once was. Breath stolen by volcanic gas
and corpses dressed in ashes. An imprint of dust
upon the body, or the body onto dust. Excavators filled
the distance between bone and absent skin with plaster,
made flesh-form evident: a naked relic for collection and display.
My grandfather has never been there, but I showed him
pictures of the ageless forms, coiled snails within
a man-made shell: mother and child cinched at the neck
by soot and centuries and history’s pressure turning
them diamond. Did he wish then that his mother too
had been cast in immortal ash, or was he grateful
gas chambers, mass graves, and crematoriums left nothing
to reconstruct the body by?

—Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach