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Dzanc Books is nonprofit press specializing in literary fiction and nonfiction. In addition to publishing activities, Dzanc Books also supports the Disquiet International Literary Program.

Barbarossa: Sonnets by Jonathan Fink

Dzanc Ebooks

Barbarossa: Sonnets by Jonathan Fink

Fink - Barbarossa - Final Cover.jpg
Fink - Barbarossa - Final Cover.jpg

Barbarossa: Sonnets by Jonathan Fink

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The German invasion of the Soviet Union began on June 22, 1941. Over the next four years - from the initial invasion and sweep of the German army through the western Soviet Union, through the siege of Leningrad and the battle for Stalingrad - over 20 million Soviet citizens perished. In Leningrad, a citizen’s daily ration at the height of the siege was a square of bread the size of two fingers.

In Barbarossa, award-winning poet Jonathan Fink presents a collection of sonnets focusing on the individual lives of Leningrad citizens during the first year of the siege, from the initial German invasion of the Soviet Union to the formation of supply routes over the frozen Lake Ladoga. With precise language and breathless power, Fink illuminates the tension, complexity, and singularity of one of most colossal operations of World War II, and the lives it transformed.


“Young Jonathan Fink has written a collection of fierce distinction—having come into a vision clear-eyed and wildly surprising, deeply felt. He's a better guide than Dante had through our hells and heavens. Buy this one!" – Mary Karr, New York Times best-selling author of The Liar’s Club

"These are deeply felt and highly intelligent poems—what Robert Frost called ‘the thought/felt thing.’ This is also a young poet who has learned his craft, his trade. The result? A remarkable, whole, powerful debut collection!" – Thomas Lux, Director of the McEver Visiting Writers program, Georgia Institute of Technology

"Poems that enact a heedfulness and carefulness, poems that ‘translate to the page the body’s dream.’ The fable, the myth, the story, the legend, the lie are focused in his vigilant lens and history becomes presence...Fink’s meters are a way to gauge and measure experience, to create a ceremony for our vanishing and our fugitive work as he does in the compelling last section about the Triangle Shirtwaist fire of 1911. Fink weeps for those who have yet to be wept for.”—Bruce Smith, Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award finalist for The Other Lover

“In these terrific poems, Jonathan Fink’s imagination ranges from myth and scripture to scenes from modern life, and everywhere he looks there's revelation. His work transports us, because it serves the nuances of empathy: for the young woman who survives a factory fire and pushes away through the crowd; for the WWI pilot who crashes in the sea; for a high school boy threading his way through the brutality of his classmates’ prejudices. Fink sees how people live at moments of extremity, and he uses his great gift to make poems sing their praise.” – Brooks Haxton, Professor of Poetry and Guggenheim Fellow, Syracuse University.


Jonathan Fink is an Associate Professor and the Director of Creative Writing at the University of West Florida. His poems and essays have appeared in PoetryNew England ReviewTriQuarterlySlateWitnessThe Southern Review, and Virginia Quarterly Review, among other publications.

He has received the Editors’ Prize in Poetry from The Missouri Review, the McGinnis-Ritchie Award for Nonfiction/Essay fromSouthwest Review, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs, and Emory University, among other institutions. His first book, The Crossing, was also recently published by Dzanc Books. He lives in Pensacola, FL.