J. J. Steinfeld
Fiction writer, poet, and playwright J. J. Steinfeld’s latest book, A Visit to the Kafka Café, has been recently published by Ekstasis Editions. The 110 poems are both a dialogue with and a questioning of the human condition as they hover between what the author sees as the absurd and the existential elements of life, making their way through the worldly and otherworldly aspects of existence, the ordinary and the extraordinary spheres of being. These poems investigate what it means to live in this world, to flee from it, to return by its emotional gravity. A Visit to the Kafka Café attempts to make sense out the way we conduct our lives, to find meaning in our surroundings, to look at individuals caught in time and space and history, and in the fascinating moments of existence and being.
“J. J. Steinfeld is a poet for our days, in which the chaotic dissolution of everything in the world is incipient in the absurdity of day-to-day human thoughts, actions, and rituals. In A Visit to the Kafka Café, Steinfeld unravels these into darkly funny, surprising, inspiring words and images that then twist intriguing neuroses into readers' neural networks so they never remember the past or imagine the future in exactly the same way again.”—Jane Ledwell, author of Last Tomato and Bird Calls
“Kafkaesque, Borgesian, and Beckettian, these are poems that bite their tails and leave readers open-mouthed in the middle of fable or struck by the coruscations of fantasies, myths, doppelgängers, ghosts, and aliens. Not least, whether absurd or tragic, the psyche here confronts mortality’s “final notices” with a head-on, head’s-up alertness, keeping “both eyes open / for a level-headed redeemer.”—Brent MacLaine, author of Athena Becomes a Swallow and Prometheus Reconsiders Fire
J. J. Steinfeld lives in Charlottetown. He has published nineteen books: two novels, Our Hero in the Cradle of Confederation (1987) and Word Burials (2009), twelve short story collections, along with two short-fiction chapbooks, and three poetry chapbooks. More than 400 of his short stories and nearly 900 poems have appeared in anthologies and periodicals, in every Canadian province and in eighteen countries. Over fifty of his one-act plays and a handful of full-length plays have been performed in Canada and the United States.