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Edited by Jon Thompson
Information and Pricing
978-1-64317-439-6 (paperback, $19.95); 978-1-64317-440-2 (PDF, $9.99); 978-1-64317-441-9 (EPUB, $9.99). © 2024 by Parlor Press, 108 pages, 7.5 x 9.25" on 70# paper..
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What People Are Saying
Well sounds the depths of what it means to be a subject with breast cancer subjected to the violence Western medicine calls care. Like the harm tucked inside of charm, this book bears witness to Steensen's own injury as a way to endure treatments at once wound and cure. It also gathers the words of other women who've written through the experience of breast cancer, offering something like a poultice to draw out poison in order to soothe and repair. Insisting on agency even while dwelling in “the margin where ill and well meet,” this vital and necessary book asks the questions we find only “at the extremity of this life.” That’s the point: to survive to offer others the hardest questions, the ones that love for our mothers, sisters, and daughters requires us to ask. —Brian Teare, author of Poem Bitten by a Man
Near the end of her extraordinary new book, Well, Sasha Steensen says, “I write to you to expel the barrier between.” Between the presumed-to-be-healthy and the body that is not well. Between the body that is not well and whatever comes next. Between what has been written about the body and what can never be written. Between what must be said about the body and what ought never be said. Between the poet’s mind and the minds of other women writers whose own lives have hung in these margins. Between the poet’s body and my own. Between happiness and hope. In a series of poems at once contrarian and comforting, Steensen lays bare her own mind and body. In her revelations, she enters a communion with women whose lives, whether we know it or not, are as vulnerable and resilient as her own. Steensen’s Well is a masterful collection of philosophy, politics, passion, and poetry. —Camille T. Dungy, author of Soil: The Story of a Black Mother’s Garden
Well is a book of poems and hybrid-essays documenting the author’s diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. A testament to female friendship and the healing power of women’s care, the book is also an exploration of women writers writing through their own, or their loved one’s, diagnoses.
About the Author
Sasha Steensen is the author of six books of poetry: A Magic Book, The Method, and House of Deer (all from Fence Books), Gatherest (Ahsahta Press), and most recently, Everything Awake (Shearsman Press), and Well (Parlor Press).
Photograph of the author by Gordon Hadfield. Used by permission.
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