In this collection of eyewitness poems, the excitement and anticipation of attending the circus on July 6, 1944 in Hartford, Connecticut, turns to horror when a fire engulfs the circus tent, killing nearly 170 people, mostly women and children.
In his first full-length poetic work, celebrated poetry anthologist Paul B. Janeczko creates a stirring fictional account of the 1944 Hartford circus fire.One summer afternoon in 1944, hundreds of circus lovers crowded under the big top in Hartford, Connecticut, breathlessly waiting for the show to begin. Minutes later, the event took a horrifying turn when a fire broke out and spread rapidly through the tent, claiming the lives of 167 souls and injuring some 500 more. Sixty years later, Paul B. Janeczko recalls that tragic event by bringing to life some unforgettable voices — from circus performers to seasoned fans, from firefighters and nurses to the little girl known as Little Miss 1565, a child whose body was never claimed. This spare, startling book uses the lyrical power of language to render historical tragedy with a human face, leaving an emotional impact young readers will not soon forget.