Catherine Sasanov
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Traditions of Bread and Violence (Four Way Books, 1996).

"Compassion and vulnerability can also be the raw material of poetry.  Catherine Sasanov writes with the guts of Mexican men and women, but she never falls into sentimentalism.  She breathes spirit into flesh and blood and turns tears into our daily bread.  Her poems should be said out loud like prayers..."

                                 -- Elena Poniatowska

"These extraordinary poems dwell in violence, dwell in the violent truth of the world -- Christ's body torn, or a lover's chest cut open, and the milagro stamped from tin into the shape of a body part.  This book is animated by an extraordinary sense of jeopardy and alienation that results in alert, almost startled acts of imagination.  Rather than being put off or deflected by the opacity of things and her own estrangement, Sasanov finds the crack, the oblique angle, Dickinson's slant truth by which mind and image might, in these short-lined lyrics, probe unerringly towards heart's truth."

                                  -- Gregory Orr

All the Blood Tethers (Morse Poetry Prize, Northeastern University Press, 2002).

"Like a restorer cleaning a fresco, these poems wipe away layers of piety and orthodoxy to uncover some violent, primal stark expressiveness, a dream of Eve's original protest."

                                        -- Rosanna Warren, from the forward

"Sasanov's theology is incarnational as meat.  In the universe of these poems, blood, bones and other relics are direct lines to the sacred, conducting holiness like copper conducts electricity.... Sasanov's characters -- saintly or sinful -- are constantly in dialogue with the sacred, despite 'knowing what damage/ praying has done.' "

                                         -- Laura Sheehan, America


Tara (Cervená Barva Press, 2008)

A chapbook selection of poems from Had Slaves (Sentence Book Award, Firewheel Editions, 2010).  Includes one poem not found in the book.

"Sasanov rejects stereotypes, 'No rice, no cotton, no coffee table book' .... This attention to reality vs. preconceptions is at the core of this collection... Sasanov simply leaves the images to do the work."

                                             C.L. Bledsoe,


Had Slaves (Sentence Book Award, Firewheel Editions, 2010).

"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 defiies comprehension."

                                                        Sima Rabinowitz,

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