Notes for a Novel

Format: Paperback
ISBN: 0-9769684-1-X
Editors: Alexandra Swaney & Rick Newby
Pages: 230

Notes for a Novel:

The Selected Poems of Frieda Fligelman

Edited by Alexandra Swaney & Rick Newby

This collection showcases a generous selection of Fligelman’s “passionate, witty, and often heartbreaking” poems. Notes for a Novel also includes three essays on Fligelman’s exceptional life and work.

$15.95






Press Release

Drumlummon Institute Publishes Poems of Montana Writer Frieda Fligelman

With the publication of Notes for a Novel: The Selected Poems of Frieda Fligelman, Drumlummon Institute of Helena, Montana, brings into print the poetic works of, in co-editor Rick Newby’s words, “one of the most remarkable unknown poets of the early modern West,” Montana writer and thinker Frieda Fligelman.

Edited by Alexandra Swaney and Newby, the collection showcases a generous selection of Fligelman’s “passionate, witty, and often heartbreaking” poems. Notes for a Novel also includes three essays on Fligelman’s exceptional life and work. It is the second volume in the Drumlummon Montana Literary Masters Series; the first volume was Food of Gods and Starvelings: The Selected Poems of Grace Stone Coates (2007).

Scholar Harriet Rochlin, author of the forthcoming study, A Mixed Chorus: Jewish Women in the American West, 1849–1924, writes in her foreword:“Notes for a Novel bears witness to a western Jewish woman who thought deeply and felt passionately; to the strands of cultural and intellectual electricity in small towns throughout the American West; and to world travelers who find in their natal nests the happiness they’d failed to find elsewhere.”

Born and raised in Helena, Montana, Frieda Fligelman published only a handful of poems during her lifetime, but at her death she left behind a manuscript of 1,200 exceptional poems. Educated at Columbia and in Paris during the 1920s, Frieda Fligelman was a suffragist, translator, world traveler, advocate for human rights, and founder of the discipline of sociolinguistics.

In his essay on Fligelman, Arnie Malina, founder of Helena’s Myrna Loy Center for the Performing and Media Arts, writes, Frieda’s “greatest strength as a poet is her ability to project a witty and resilient personality, a strong, singular voice that responds anew to adversity and joy. Her poems exhibit the Fligelman persona in many forms: the critic of civilization, the woman, the isolated individual alone in a room. She sought immortality; in her poetry, she is alive.”

Co-editor Alexandra Swaney, musician, writer, and anthropologist, is recently retired as folklife director for the Montana Arts Council. Rick Newby has edited many books, including The New Montana Story: An Anthology (2003) and The Rocky Mountain Region, Greenwood Encyclopedia of American Regional Cultures (2004).

Notes for a Novel: The Selected Poems of Frieda Fligelman is available at bookstores or by calling Riverbend Publishing, 1-866-787-2363. The 232-page softcover book is available for $15.95.

Reviews

Sometimes self-consciousness is so strong that some of the best work never makes it to print. "Notes for a Novel: The Selected Poems of Frieda Fligelman" tells the story of widely unpublished poet Frieda Fligelman and her legacy of over one thousand poems she deemed unfit to publish. But the work speaks for itself, as Fligelman's modesty is the only thing that kept these things from print, not their quality. The mind and soul of a progressive woman in the 1920s, "Notes for a Novel" is enthusiastically recommended. "Ghetto Dweller": I have said many things of you/But I am not bitter at you.//My bitterness is for the traditions and customs/That pour their blind habits into you/As into a helpless woman.

Midwest Book Review


Notes for a Novel: The Selected Poems of Frieda Fligelman

Born and raised in Helena, Montana, Frieda Fligelman may well be one of the most remarkable unknown poets of the early modern West. Fligelman published only a handful of poems during her lifetime, but at her death she left behind a manuscript of 1,200 exceptional poems. Notes for a Novel offers a rich selection of those passionate, witty, and often heartbreaking poems. Educated at Columbia and in the Paris of the 1920s, Frieda Fligelman was a suffragist, translator, advocate for human rights, and founder of the discipline of sociolinguistics.

Notes for a Novel bears witness to a western Jewish woman who thought deeply and felt passionately; to the strands of cultural and intellectual electricity in small towns throughout the American West; and to world travelers who find in their natal nests the happiness they’d failed to find elsewhere.

—Harriet Rochlin, author of A Mixed Chorus: Jewish Women in the American West, 1849–1924


Frieda Fligelman’sgreatest strength as a poet is her ability to project a witty and resilient personality, a strong, singular voice that responds anew to adversity and joy. Her poems exhibit the Fligelman persona in many forms: the critic of civilization, the woman, the isolated individual alone in a room. She sought immortality: in her poetry, she is alive.

—Arnie Malina, recipient, Montana Governor’s Award for the Arts


Helena Independent Record: Frieda Fligelman groundbreaking scholar, feminist, poet

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