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J. J. Steinfeld
Poet, fiction writer, and playwright J. J. Steinfeld was born in a Displaced Persons Camp in Germany, of Polish Jewish Holocaust survivor parents. After receiving his master’s degree in history from Trent University and spending two years in a PhD program at the University of Ottawa, he abandoned that program and moved in 1980 to Prince Edward Island to write full time. Steinfeld lives in Charlottetown, where he is patiently waiting for Godot’s arrival and a phone call from Kafka. While waiting, he has published twenty-two books: two novels, Our Hero in the Cradle of Confederation (1987) and Word Burials (2009), thirteen short story collections—The Apostate's Tattoo (1983), Forms of Captivity and Escape (1988), Unmapped Dreams (1989), The Miraculous Hand and Other Stories (1991), Dancing at the Club Holocaust (1993), Disturbing Identities (1997), Should the Word Hell Be Capitalized? (1999), Anton Chekhov Was Never in Charlottetown (2000), Would You Hide Me? (2003), A Glass Shard and Memory (2010), Madhouses in Heaven, Castles in Hell (2015), An Unauthorized Biography of Being (2016), and Gregor Samsa Was Never in The Beatles (2019)—and seven poetry collections, An Affection for Precipices (2006), Misshapenness (2009), Identity Dreams and Memory Sounds (2014), Absurdity, Woe Is Me, Glory Be (2017), A Visit to the Kafka Café (2018), Morning Bafflement and Timeless Puzzlement (2020), and Somewhat Absurd, Somehow Existential (2021), along with two short-fiction chapbooks, Curiosity to Satisfy and Fear to Placate (2003) and Not a Second More, Not a Second Less (2005), and three poetry chapbooks, Existence Is a Hoax, a Woman in Fishnet Stockings Told Me When I Was Twenty (2003), Where War Finds You (2008), and A Fanciful Geography (2010). From 1981, when Steinfeld published his first short story, to 1986, when his first one-act play was produced, and 2001, when he published his first poem, to the publication of his 2021 Guernica Editions poetry collection, Somewhat Absurd, Somehow Existential, nearly 500 of his short stories and more than 1000 poems have appeared in anthologies and periodicals, in Canada and with at least one piece internationally in twenty countries, and over 60 of his one-act plays and a handful of full-length plays have been performed in Canada and the United States. In 2017, Guernica Editions published both a poetry collection by Steinfeld in their Essential Poets Series, Absurdity, Woe Is Me, Glory Be, and also a book in their Essential Writers Series, J. J. Steinfeld: Essays on His Works, compiled and edited by Sandra Singer, which took a critical look at the author’s extensive and prolific writings of poetry, fiction, and plays.

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Books by J. J. Steinfeld

Absurdity, Woe Is Me, Glory Be Somewhat Absurd, Somehow Existential