Sunday, January 02, 2011

"Pushcarts and Peddlers." by Ed Galing

Well, my old friend Ed Galing, 94, will have a new book of poetry coming out hopefully early this year "Pushcarts and Peddlers." (Poetica Publishing Company) It is a collection of Ed Galing's Jewish themed poetry. Now I have kept in touch with Ed mostly by phone for over a decade and even started a blog for him Ed writes about his days in the earlier part of last century on the teeming streets of the Lower East Side of New York City. The title of the collection " Pushcarts and Peddler" reminds me of my own family, in particular my late uncle Dave Kirschenbaum. Dave started selling books on pushcarts on the Lower East Side, and eventually owned a couple of bookstores on New York's famed Book Row, including the noted " Carnegie Bookstore." Ed Galing is one of the few poets around--may I say the few people around, who remembers those days.

I became fascinated with Ed after completing my thesis on Henry Roth while studying with the noted Yiddish Literature scholar Ruth Wisse at Harvard University. Like Galing, Roth wrote about his coming of age on the Lower East Side, in his acclaimed novel " Call it Sleep." In a way Galing is my living link to Roth. My late father Lawrence Holder, (Formerly Horowitz) like Galing, was born in New York (The Bronx)in 1917. He told me many stories about his street urchin days as a Jewish boy-- stealing potatoes from carts and roasting them in back alleys, his parents who were immigrants from Russia, the food, the eccentric uncles, actually seeing Babe Ruth as a young boy at Yankee Stadium, the Vaudeville songs, the Marx Brothers, the ice man--you name it. Ed connects me to him as well.

The following is from the Poetica website, about Galing and his forthcoming book.

Puschcarts and Peddlers
Selected Poems by Ed Galing

Cover Art Created and Donated
by Eugene Ivanov

Ed Galing is an award-winning ninety-three year old poet, cartoonist, and journalist. He received many literary awards, two pushcart nominations, wrote over seventy chapbooks, and was the harmonica-playing poet-laureate of Hatboro, Pennsylvania. Galing grew up in a tenement building in the Lower East Side of New York, learning about pushcarts, peddlers and bustling immigrants. When he was nine-years old his parents moved to Philadelphia where he finished his high school education, then he began to write short stories, poems, and sketches about his life. Shortly after WWII, Galing joined the Army and served as an occupation soldier in Europe, where he witnessed the death camps in Dachau. Galing married at age twenty-one and lived with his wife Esther for sixty-eight years, until her death. Galing is described by Doug Holder as a "poet of the greatest generation." Mr. Galing does not own a computer, he still communicates with editors and fellow poets by hand written letters. Mr. Galing lives at his home in Hatboro, PA, confined to a wheelchair, and as always, types all his poems using an old typewriter. His greatest wish is to see his Jewish works published and recognized, that those days of experiencing the Lower East Side, Dachau, anti-Semitism in the Army and Navy will never be forgotten.

Poetica Magazine and Poetica Publishing Company will grant Mr. Galing his wish and will publish a full collection of his Jewish poems. Pushcarts and Peddlers by Ed Galing will be published as soon as we can find and collect his Jewish theme poems…this is a challenge.

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