Polalka brilliantly weaves the thread of experience and language together to create a new American flag, one made out of the torn fabric of immigrant dreams, American dislocations, lotteries, and language. With daring and wry wit, Karolina Zapal delivers a timely missive packed with an illuminating punch.
Brenda Coultas, author of The Tatters
When I first encountered Karolina Zapal’s Polalka, I found some convenience in reading the text’s arrangements, erasures, and estrangements as only performance—of the immigrant’s crisis of assimilation, loss, and fear. I was wrong. This is, more importantly, also a text of pleasure, a site for “the possibility of a dialectics of desire, of an unpredictability of bliss,” as Roland Barthes said. Karolina writes like an outsider who has won the lottery and ravaged the game. Polalka plays, pleases, and flirts. It is un-writing written “off-tune by off-breed who tells its holes.”
J’Lyn Chapman, author of Beastlife
One of the most riveting, beautiful collections on immigration, meeting head-on the challenges of exploring the acceptance of difference, taking language and customs beyond borders and living with the cost of both in this world. Karolina Zapal’s innovations with language and the page keep this text resonating in us, calling us to read it again, be with her journey again. One of my favorite new books, and I am certain it will be one of yours as well!
CAConrad, author of While Standing in Line for Death
Karolina Zapal is an itinerant poet, essayist, and translator. Her work has appeared in The Manhattanville Review, Bone Bouquet, Foglifter, Witness, Bombay Gin, and others. She served as the Anselm Hollo Fellow at Naropa University from 2015-2017. She's an editor with The Birds We Piled Loosely Press and an appointed Bridge Guard in Štúrovo, Slovakia. Born in Poland and raised in the United States, she wonders about lost cities and impenetrable borders. This is her first book. Her website is karolinazapal.com.