Published by: Meadowlark Press, Emporia, KS, September 2022
For Immediate Release
New Poetry Collection by Ruth Maus Includes Paintings by Her German Cousin
Topeka, KS – The poetry and art in Puzzled (Meadowlark Press, 2022) has connections dating back to 1882, when the great-grandfather of Ruth Maus came to the US as a young boy with his parents and siblings. They were Germans who eventually settled on a farm in Holton, Kansas, where a descendent still lives and farms to this day. The ancestral village, which Ruth Maus was able to visit in 1997, is now a part of Poland. Cousins met, including descendent of a brother to Ruth’s great-grandfather who stayed behind. Gertrud Knuth and Ruth have maintained contact since that trip, and Gertrud’s daughter, Katja Weiss, an artist living near Hamburg, Germany, has taken over those communications in this digital age.
“I sent them a copy of my first poetry book, Valentine, in 2019. Periodically, I would email Katja one of my new poems, and she would email me one of her new paintings,” Maus writes. Then the German cousin suggested that Maus could use her paintings in a future poetry book.
Maus wrote most of the poems in Puzzled during the pandemic, and the 110-page book is filled will her German cousin’s full-color paintings.
“I continue to be amazed that despite 140 years, thousands of miles, different languages, two world wars, and multiple generations, we unacquainted cousins have collaborated on this project!” writes Maus.
“Throughout Puzzled, Ruth Maus’s skillfully-wrought poems abound in delight and wonder, her curiosity and playfulness on full display. These are fun and memorable gems . . .” writes Jonathan Greenhause, author of Cupping Our Palms, winner of the Birdy Poetry Prize (Meadowlark Press, 2022).
“Katja Weiss’s art provides counterpoints of quiet, restful, yet mysterious places to contemplate the poems. Puzzled is synergy in its purest form,” from Barbara Waterman-Peters, artist, author, and illustrator.
Puzzled is available at meadowlarkbookstore.com and can be ordered wherever books are sold.
She represented Smith College at the annual Glasscock Intercollegiate Poetry Contest where past contestants have included James Merrill, Sylvia Plath, Katha Pollit, Mary Jo Salter, James Agee, Frederick Buechner, Kenneth Koch, Donald Hall, William Manchester, Muriel Rukeyser, and Gjertrud Schnackenberg. Her poems have appeared in a variety of literary publications.
Her first book of poetry, Valentine, published by Meadowlark Press, was a finalist in the 2019 Birdy Contest.
Ruth is a member of Kansas Authors Club, District 1.