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Everything Awake was written during a dreamy, disorienting period of insomnia. In the middle of the night, I began studying Catullus, imagining that his hendecasyllabic rhythms might shush me to sleep. Instead, they prompted a series of eleven-line poems with eleven syllables per line. I was drawn to the number, via Catullus, because it felt both excessive and insufficient, just like the space of an insomniac's day. Eleven opened up onto an expanse in which I could think about dwelling, in a day, at the foot of a wind-swept mountain, in a family of humans, animals and plants, all of whom needed my care. Like Catullus's neoteric poems, these poems attempt to bring the private, domestic space to bear upon the larger, public sphere in hopes that each might inform the other. The assumption of these poems is an ancient one-our most basic daily acts of care, and our most intimate relationships, define our relationship to the larger world. My hope is that these poems might offer one humble account of care in our deeply damaged world.
"In Steensen's verse the elusive "seam between dawn and dreams" is luminous, tenderly sewn into gardens of quiet, tucked between tumultuous days and nights. When we find ourselves sleepless, when there is "no feed," when we are "out to sea" her poems are rowboats, groves, refuge. In Everything Awake the known gives birth to the unknown and brings us closer not only to lucid dreams, but to the necessity of lucid wakefulness. This beautiful book provides solace for the unmoored, not by providing fixity, but by reminding us that the lens of the sacred is made of consciousness, excludes nothing, and is always curious." -Laynie Browne
October 15, 2020
5.5 X 8.5 X 0.22 inches | 0.27 pounds
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About the Author
Sasha Steensen is the author of five books of poetry, most recently Gatherest (Ahsahta Press). Recent essays can be found at Essay Press, Interim and Tupelo Quarterly. She teaches Creative Writing and Literature at Colorado State University where she also serves as a poetry editor for Colorado Review. She lives in Fort Collins, Colorado, with her husband and two daughters.