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Like Oysters Observing the Sun

Publication Date: May 2013


“Animals rebel. Our senses rebel. The syllables of outcry are in open rebellion against our words. All this Sieczkowski documents with prophetic rigor and then, in poems of the damnedest, dearest insouciance I have ever encountered, begins to play.”

-Donald Revell

Like Ishmael, who likens humans’ attempts to apprehend the metaphysical to “oysters observing the sun through the water…thinking that thick water the thinnest of air” the voices in Brenda Sieczkowski’s exquisite first book know that to truly apprehend in this world is always, simultaneously, to understand and to doubt-to realize absolutely how little we can know. Whether exploring folk medicine or neuroscience, Melville or Lewis Carroll, our cultural monsters of the moment or our long-standing haints, Sieczkowski’s poems are funny and dangerous, prophetic and whipsmart-asking us what we owe each other, what we believe in, what we can know of the selves and worlds that tumbleweed onto our psyches or trail after us like flotsam. The language here is dense, tangy, full of the mortal body and its thing-ness, all the jangly beauty and grotesquerie and loss of the material world. And though playful it isn’t playing around; it knows precisely what’s at stake. This is the most capacious, necessary work I have read in quite a while. Brenda Sieczkowski is the real deal. Read this book, right here, and open your eyes.”

– Donna de la Perrière

About the Author

Brenda Sieczkowski

Brenda Sieczkowski is taking time off from her Ph.D. studies in Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Utah to work with chronically homeless individuals.  Her poems and lyric essays have appeared widely in print and online journals, including The Colorado Review, Versal, The New England Review, Diagram, The Florida Review, Gulf Coast, Poet Lore, Sidebrow, and Subtropics among others. Her chapbook, Wonder Girl in Monster Land, was published in 2012 by dancing girl press. A full-length collection, Like Oysters Observing the Sun, is forthcoming from Black Lawrence Press. Currently, she lives, works, and writes in Omaha, Nebraska.

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