Publication Date:  January 1, 2017
Paperback, 30 pages
ISBN:  978-1-937968-28-1
Booksellers:  Available from
Small Press Distribution
Myles Gordon’s book-length poetry collection
Inside the Splintered Wood was published by Tebot
Bach as winner of the press’s "Patricia Bibby First
Book Competition." It was named a "Must Read" as
a finalist for a Massachusetts Book Award, through
the Massachusetts Center for the Book.  His
Recite Every Day was published by
Evening Street Press in 2009 as winner of the
press’s "Helen Kay Chapbook Competition." His
Until It Does Us In, was published by
Cervena Barva Press. He is a past winner of the
Grolier Poetry Prize, and received honorable
mention for an Associated Writers Programs (AWP)
Intro Award – Poetry. He was featured in the
Awake! A Reader for the Sleepless (Soft
Skull Press). His poetry has appeared in numerous
journals including
Slipstream and Rattle. He teaches
History, English and Special Education in middle
and high school in the Boston area, and works as an
editor, producer and reporter for WBUR, one of
Boston’s National Public Radio affiliates.
Ethel Rosenberg and her husband Julius were executed in 1953 for passing "atomic
secrets" to the USSR - the only Americans condemned to death during the Red Scare.
In this powerful verse – a sonnet sequence, no less – Myles Gordon evokes her life
and death with great insight and poignancy.  In the process she is transformed from
Cold War caricature to collateral damage, from an old newspaper photograph to a
living presence.  Written as an imagined monologue from Rosenberg to her brother
and accuser David Greenglass - who decades later recanted his testimony - this cycle
revisits her childhood in a poor Jewish family in New York, and evokes the horror of
her death and the visions she might have had "in between the charges" it took to end
her life.  As the spectre of Cold War threatens to return, Ethel Rosenberg’s life and
death remind us of the risks facing all people of conscience in a binary world of "with
us or against us," when loyalty to the state eclipses devotion to mankind.  If learning
the lessons of her history prevents us from repeating our past, then her death need not
have been in vain.

Praise for Myles Gordon's In Between the Charges:

"Anyone who has doubts about the persistent vitality of the English sonnet as an
expressive form, need only plunge into Myles Gordon's
In Between the Charges. In
this sequence of eighteen sonnets, the poet takes us into the dying moments of Ethel
Rosenberg, into the thoughts and words that come to her in the moments between
the two separate jolts it took for the electric chair to finish its work. Thoroughly
colloquial and yet intensely musical, these poems take the almost unimaginable and
make it into an unforgettable elegy."

                                Fred Marchant, author of
Said Not Said

"In his sonnet sequence, In Between the Charges – For Ethel Rosenberg, Myles
Gordon conjures David Greenglass and the sister he betrayed, Ethel Rosenberg, in
scenes both domestic and political.  Rosenberg’s voice narrates their childhood
memories 'up on the roof' in 1928, or babysitting in 1922.  She shares memories of
childhood Hebrew studies in 1925, 'our smiling parents’ laps' recalled 'as they
buckled me in the chair and tightened the straps.'  Past and ever present quickly
merge in a story fueled by 'the bomb / that captured everyone’s imagination, / how it
rose from the sand like a mosque’s golden dome,' a story that slows time and
ultimately resurrects Rosenberg in her final moments. Gordon brings these many
contrasts and forgotten details to life through voice and form, asking 'who / decides
such things?' for all of us."  

                         Jill McDonough, author of
Habeas Corpus and Where You Live

"Myles Gordon is one of the outstanding poets of his generation. Writing in form, he
conveys emotion, pent up and all the more poignant for the requirements of the
sonnet. In this sequence,
In Between the Charges, Gordon writes in the voice of Ethel
Rosenberg. He captures her tenderness, love of family, her bewilderment and intense
grief.  She speaks ostensibly to her brother, yet in these poems she speaks to all of us.
This is a brilliant collection and a wrenching one. Through Myles Gordon, Ethel
Rosenberg lives alongside questions of innocence and betrayal. We mourn the
injustices done. Timely and moving, this sonnet sequence is a major part of the
tapestry of American literature."

                         Kathleen Spivack, author of
Unspeakable Things and With
                         Robert Lowell and His Circle: Plath, Sexton, Bishop, Kunitz
                         and Others
For Ethel Rosenberg

A Poetry Chapbook by
Cover and Book Design by Larry W. Moore
Author Photo Courtesy of Rune Aabo.