Staring Down the Tracks



Staring Down the Tracks is a collection of poems that gives voice to those affected by addiction, a population that, despite their numbers and diverse demographics, is often harshly judged and silenced by shame. The mother and son of these poems are your neighbors, friends, relatives, and co-workers who need to have a dialog with you.

"Images precise and severe are accompanied by a fragile, defiantly beautiful music as the poet describes the son whom she will lose, over and over again." Erica Funkhouser, author of Post & Rail, winner of the Idaho Prize for Poetry

"...a courageous and generous collection, an essential contribution to literature about addiction that will change you." Daniel Donaghy, author, Somerset: Start with the Trouble, winner of the Paterson Prize for Literary Excellence

"If Sylvia Plath were the mother of an addict, she would write poems like [these]." Miriam Greenspan, psychotherapist and author, Healing Through the Dark Emotions: The Wisdom of Grief, Fear, and Despair

Product Details

Poetry Box
Publish Date
March 10, 2020
5.5 X 0.09 X 8.5 inches | 0.14 pounds
BISAC Categories:

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About the Author

Julia Paul serves as president of the Riverwood Poetry Series, a longstanding reading series in Hartford, Connecticut. In addition to publication in numerous literary journals, both national and international, including Comstock Review, Minerva Rising, New Mexico Review, The Fourth River, Windmill and Connecticut Review and anthologies such as From Under the Bridges of America, The Heart of All that Is and Lavandaria, several of her poems have been performed in stage productions. Her first book, Shook, is published by Grayson Books. Paul served as Manchester, Connecticut's first Poet Laureate, 2014-2019. She is an elder law attorney and the proud mother of three grown sons.
Shawn Aveningo Sanders grew up in St Louis, Missouri and after a bit of globetrotting finally landed in Portland, Oregon, where she miraculously overcame her lifelong fear of birds upon meeting two baby juncos in her backyard. She believes poetry is the perfect literary art form for today's fast-paced world, due to its power to stir emotion in less than two minutes. Since 2008, Shawn's work has appeared globally in over 150 literary journals and anthologies. She's a Pushcart nominee, Best of the Net nominee, and managing editor for The Poeming Pigeon. She was named Best Female Poet-Performer in the Sacramento News & Review Reader Poll (2009) and was winner of the first poetry slam in Placerville, California (2012). Shawn is a proud mother of three amazing adults, and she shares the creative life with her husband, Robert. You can learn more about her at