Stewart edited this collection of poetry by children of Holocaust survivors. As disquieting as most of these poems are, they also affirm life. In his foreword, Gerald Stern writes, "It is not that we will either forget or reclaim those years because of these poems; it is not that the poems will even make the past bearable. It is that, in our greatest loss, we have a victory."
Amusing the Angels
Blue Light Press
The Girl Eating Oysters
This chapbook is available for download from 2River.
Available online through amazon (in hard copy and Kindle editions), barnes and noble, and other online bookstores. Also available from your local bookseller via Ingram Books.
Winner, Honorable Mention, San Francisco Book Festival, honoring the best books published in Spring, 2011
Read the review on Bookin' with Sunny.
Read Cindy Hochman's review, "Light at the End of the Darkness," on amazon.
"Written with passionate precision, Florsheim's collection goes to the core of a wide range of intrigues and interests: the Holocaust, artworks, the mysteries of the everyday. Urbane and astute, his work is empathetic and clear-headed. A rich offering."
--David Meltzer, author of David’s Copy: The Selected Poems of David Meltzer
"Among the pleasures of Stewart Florsheim's A Split Second of Light are his incisive character portraits of parents and family and the dramatic incidents he conjures out of paintings by Caillebotte, Chardin, Bonnard and others. Florsheim's gift for scene-setting and succinct phrasing, and his eye for revealing detail, make this a rewarding collection."
--Chana Bloch, author of Blood Honey and translator of Yehuda Amichai and other Israeli poets
A Split Second of Light
Blue Light Press
Winner, 2005 Blue Light Book Award
"Stewart Florsheim has written a Moebius strip of a book, starting with the nearly unspeakable grief of being the child of ill-matched parents, and proceeding by turns into the amorous education of a young man, the perspicuity of a middle-aged aesthete (many of the poems here take their cue from great paintings), and finally marriage and fatherhood, which loop back with irony and insight to the beginning of Florsheim's narrative arc. The Short Fall From Grace, then, doesn't occur so much in a straight line--the way an actual fall might--as it does in a circular fashion, owing its trajectory not to gravity but to the irresistible pull of time."
--Thomas Centolella, Views from along the Middle Way
The Short Fall From Grace
Blue Light Press
Ghosts of the Holocaust
Wayne State University Press
Out of print but usually available through amazon and other booksellers
Winner, 2022 Blue Light Book Award
Read the review on the Jewish Book Council site, by Jamie Wendt
Read the review on Londongrip, by Charles Rammelkamp.
Read the review on The Lake, by Dorothy Wall.
Read the interview with Stewart in the Piedmont Exedra.
See the coverage in "J" The Jewish News of Northern California.
"In this richly diverse mélange of human lives, many actual and many imagined, Stewart Florsheim embraces the light and the dark much as his beloved Rembrandt employed chiaroscuro to reveal the complexity of a single individual, and thus, all individuals. Florsheim’s vision is encompassing, with room enough for the emotional convolutions of family, Holocaust survivors, spiritual seekers, intimate partners, world travelers, artists, and even total strangers. Taking his cue from Aristotle, and perhaps from the painters he admires, he approaches life from the particular. Pulsing through the array of details is the tempered passion of someone who considers desire as “the trembling to be whole.”
--Thomas Centolella, author of Almost Human
"Here, as in his previous collections, Stewart Florsheim combines closely observed detail with moments of transcendence—sometimes metaphorical, other times supernatural—that conjure the lost world of European Jewry, the intimate sphere of his family life, and the lines of blood and spirit that connect the two. He steps into famous paintings as if through a looking glass and renders public events with evocative brushwork. Having read his poetry for more than thirty years, I am impressed by how consistent his body of work is and grateful for the rich worldview it provides."
--Scott Norton, author of Developmental Editing: A Guide for Freelancers, Authors, and Publishers, Second Edition (forthcoming 2023)
"...These are poems that will touch your heart as the poet bears witness to what it takes to come to terms with the ordinary human challenges of 20th and 21st century America, what it takes to write the simple lines that reveal the complex stoicism, flights of the imagination, and stubborn grace that helped countless individuals and families on their decades-long intergenerational journey from the horrors of the Holocaust to the ambiguities of the American promised land."
--George Wallace, Writer in Residence, Walt Whitman Birthplace