Over the Moon…Gone: The Vanishing Act of Bess Houdini/ poetry chapbook by Jan Zlotnik Schmidt/spotlight review by Laurence Carr

Jan Zlotnik Schmidt has brought her own conjuring trick to readers. This insightful, often moving chapbook collection of poems reincarnates the spirit of Bess Houdini, bringing to us her emotional life through fictional auto-biographical pieces, placing her husband, “The Great” Harry Houdini in the background. This is a timely poetry collection, and it adds a feminist document of a woman whose voice must be heard. Bess Houdini lives in these mesmerizing poems!

Over the Moon . . .Gone is published by Palooka Press and is available through online sources.


Read one of the “Bess” poems, “The Magic Handcuffs: 1900” in the Fall 2021 issue of Lightwood along with other works here by Jan Zlotnik Schmidt and a review of her poetry book, Foraging for Light (Finishing Line Press, 2020).


Jan Zlotnik Schmidt, a SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor of English at SUNY New Paltz, taught autobiography, creative writing, American and contemporary literature, women’s Literature, , and Holocaust literature courses.  Her work has been published in numerous journals and has been nominated for the Pushcart Press Prize.  She has had two volumes of poetry published by the Edwin Mellen Press (We Speak in Tongues, 1991; She had this memory, 2000) and two collections of autobiographical essays, Women/Writing/Teaching (SUNY Press, 1998) and Wise Women:  Reflections of Teachers at Mid-Life, co-authored with Dr. Phyllis R. Freeman (Routledge, 2000). Her full length volume, Foraging for Light was published in September 2019 by Finishing Line Press. She has a B.A. from University of Rochester (1969); an M.A. from University of Wisconsin, Madison (1970); and a Ph.D. from Syracuse University (1977).


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