The Hamlet of Stittville

 

The Hamlet of Stittville is a collaboration of two boyhood friends, New Yorker (among many other national publications) cartoonist John Klossner and poet Alan Berecka. The two men grew up in the unincorporated hamlet of Stittville, New York which is what was once a rather rural area of Onieda County. The sign on the cover is the actual sign one sees when entering the hamlet, and it sits in the front yard of Berecka’s boyhood home, except of course it doesn’t have our names on it either, just the year Stittville was founded (1868). Here’s what the blurbers said:

There is much ado about monkey in Berecka and Klossner’s poignant and humorous search for meaning in The Hamlet of Stittsville.  It’s monkeys all the way down, with Shakespearian commentary on current political events mixed with the deep, personal observation we’ve come to expect in Berecka’s work.  Klossner’s art offers both counterpoint and reflection in Berecka’s tongue-in-cheek universe. Together they pack a knock-out punch that will, for an infinite moment, take our minds off the baloney of our political present and give us the comical perspective necessary to enjoy our dawning days.

L.A. Times Bestselling Author Stephen Jay Schwartz

Alan Berecka starts with a wily premise of infinite monkeys, infinite typewriters, and time.  But the monkeys are us and time is running out as sad little monkeys continue to ring the bell, hoping for a banana.  And we all know what the definition of insanity is.  A subtle comment on society done with scalpel and Berecka walks away with clean hands.   If we are changed by observing, then this book will do a great deal of good in the world.

Red River Review Editor Michelle Hartman                            

You Saw Me Laughing in the Chapel could be the title of any given collection of Alan Berecka because his poems have that endearing mixture of Fun and Faith (even if the Faith is a bit corroded by Doubt).  Monkeys and infinity are perfect subjects for Berecka’s brand of art, with its thoughtfulness, humor and complete candor.

Professor Emeritus University of North Texas Richard Sale

For purchase click here: The Hamlet of Stittville