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Written on the eve of America s entry into World War II, this remarkable Letter From a Young Poet discloses a young Jewish American man s spiritual and literary odyssey through rural Connecticut and urban Brooklyn during the turbulent 1930s. In a finely wrought first-person narrative, young Plutzik tells his mentor, what it means for a poet to live an authentic life in the modern world. Like Joyce and Rilke before him, Plutzik ultimately strikes out on a path that can be blessed both by his literary muses and by his ancestral voices. Letter From a Young Poet can be described as an early example of Holocaust literature for the way Plutzik challenges the growing menace of Nazism that he views looming from afar.
Hyam Plutzik (1911-1962) was the author of three poetry books, all finalists for the Pulitzer Prize: Aspects of Proteus (1949), Apples from Shinar (1959, reprinted 2011), and Horatio (1961). His Collected Poems were published in 1987, with an introduction by Anthony Hecht. At the time of his death, Plutzik was John H. Deane Professor of Rhetoric and Poetry at the University of Rochester, which established the Plutzik Memorial Poetry Series and for whom the Plutzik Library for Contemporary Writing is named.