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“Elizabeth F. Szewczyk wastes no time. In the very first poem of Fragments of Survival, she invites us in by recreating for us, and for herself, one of the most profound moments in the lives of us all. And she does so by weaving the harrowing with the profoundly tender, observing with heartbreaking accuracy the making of a boy whom she suggests will grow into an abusive man: the boy buries his toy trucks in the back yard… buries them/in the corner side of the house, by the gladiolas/then plants the Hating Seed, waters with tears. These fabulous poems rise from the page gently, yet each carries with it the weight of some wise insight, recognizable and yet utterly new and singular. Whether she takes us apple picking or into the depths of winter where something terrible and cold emerges -- whether she welcomes the promise of new spring and the miracle of youth, or a devastating, inevitable loss, this book overflows with magnificent poems. Powerfully satisfying and human in an extraordinarily honest and clear voice. Read this book!”

~ John L. Stanizzi, After the Bell and Hallelujah Time! 

Fragments of Survival

  • “Horrendous experiences are beautifully packaged in this depiction of the torture a child endures when sexually abused. Pain, confusion, dread, loneliness and fear steal her childhood. She has no reason to assume she will grow up, no expectation of surviving the torture life has delivered to her. But astounding writing, incredible imagery and the protagonist's honesty convince us that the sharing of dreadful memories gains freedom and salvation not only for her, but for readers as well.”

    ~ Rebecca Leo, The Flaws that Bind


    “What plants the ‘hating seed’ inside of others, inside of us? And what is the winding path to peace? These are the dark and difficult topics that Elizabeth Szewczyk explores in her new poetry collection, Fragments of Survival. Ms. Szewczyk’s poems are honest and wise, and demonstrate that, while the traumas of the past may never fully leave us, they do not need to hold us back from who we are meant to become.”

    ~ Chloé McFeters C is for Courage, The Ally Within and Still, But Not Silent

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