Psyche's Scroll


Product Details

Poetry Box Select
Publish Date
7.5 X 0.33 X 9.25 inches | 0.6 pounds
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About the Author

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


In Psyche's Scroll, Karla Linn Merrifield reveals a timely and deeply felt extended poem about the un-scrolling of the soul in all of its forms--id, ego, and super-ego. Through the poet's brilliant use of persona, mythology, symbolism, and allusion, the human psyche comes to life as Psyche immortal. Here are found libido and chastity, dream state and reality, gratification and conscience--all metaphorically moving between the outer life and the search for an inner life of creativity. As Merrifield writes, "The brio of the mind is its will to bliss; the élan of the brain when pleasured/is poetry."

Andrea L. Watson, Collecting Life: Poets on Objects Known and Imagined; co-founder, 3: A Taos Press

I can only begin to suggest to you or to know for myself what-all is going on here in Karla Merrifield's Psyche's Scroll ("Complexity the Beautiful," she says)--I sense a life-or-death effort (a constant sense of urgency/necessity here) for Wholeness ("Psyche entire"), for integration of being, of myth & reality, of the rational & the wild, of the primal & the digital, of the cave & of the shopping mall, of Time & Space. With each reading of this inspired scroll, we'll come closer to it as an ouroboros-like serpent-dragon creature that eats & completes itself, & us, as it enlightens us. But what I want especially to remark on here is that Merrifield alerts us early, warns us, that the scroll will be wielding words. I respect this concept, its threat & efficacy. Hers will be "switchblade syllables," "brass-knuckle etymologies," there will be "feces in her skanky pink hair," we will be "opening [a] papyrus scroll / inked in blood with swan quill." Her mission: by way of "ferocity of syllables" to stir "moon shadows to slay false gods." As Psyche slays false gods, her force may even sometimes seem sinister. But all is not dour & threatening: "Surely kickass shit and liberation shall amuse me all the lines of my life..".. We witness here sacral intelligence within a revelatory construct, & we're grateful to keep this strong poet's wieldings company.

William Heyen, National Book Award Finalist; author of The Candle: Poems of Our 20th Century Holocausts

Psyche's Scroll is a tour de force of one woman's tortured gestation, growth, survival, and ultimate triumph as a poet who ascends from a body and mind in bondage to a wandering, thirsting, protesting poetic spirit, to a soul with sight, and finally to a poet practiced in the powerful yet delicate salvation of words. Psyche's Scroll is an evolution out of the darkness of abuse and exploitation into another landscape where through deep questioning and redefinition, the poet declares and names her true self through the making of poems. Merrifield has produced here her "body of proof "--a lustrous map for all women and all men to follow into the light where we too can finally discover the courage to declare ourselves who we truly are.

Mike Burwell, author of Cartography of Water; co-editor of the literary journal Cirque

Psyche's Scroll is as audacious and original work of poetry I have ever read. It blew my mind! Like an explorer through a dark cave, guided only by the light of Karla Linn's clever and koan-like writing, I had to ask myself at every turn of the page, "Where am I going?" The destination is as revelatory of the human soul as the cave paintings at Lascaux.

Vuong Quoc Vu, editor of Tourane Poetry Press