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Two words, stumbled across while going through family papers, upended everything poet Catherine Sasanov thought she knew about her Missouri ancestors. Using extensive research and imaginative speculation, Sasanov not only constructs fragments of what might have been the lives of the central figures in this tragic drama-the eleven men, women and children held in bondage by her great-great-great-grandfather and his family but also offers a larger view of American slavery and the artifacts and attitudes that are its ongoing legacy.
About the Book
This book is not about Sinead O’ Connor or the gathering impulse of blue birds or the rotten plans of serge-robed men or Aunt Foxy’s potted peppers. Even we, its progenitors, will see this book on a shelf somewhere someday and think: Now we will learn all there is to learn about Sinead O’ Connor and her coat of a thousand bluebirds, having forgotten the way human beings forget the importance of remembering. But Sinead will always remain the ethereal Sinead, and the path to the shorn woman with the songbird’s throat will remain (un)regrettably undetectable.
About the Author
About goes here
New reviews of Catherine Sasanov’s Had Slaves by Julia Perch at Press 1 and Galatea Resurrects #15 (A Poetry Engagement).
“Sasanov demonstrates here, as she has in the past, that it is possible to tell a story in verse that takes advantage of what makes poetry so powerful, its magnificent potential for restraint, economy, and a kind of emotional precision that nearly defies comprehension.”
– Sima Rabinowitz, NewPages.com
“After research and soul search, Catherine Sasanov leaves us with a distillation of thought on the brink of extinction. Poems that breathe with the urgency of last resort, as though every other means of expression had been exhausted.”
– Ruth Maleczech, Mabou Mines Theater Company