Had Slaves is Catherine Sasanov's third book of poems. Written out of her discovery of slaveholding among her Missouri ancestors, and the fragmented evidence left behind of the 11 men, women, and children held in their bondage, Had Slaves pieces together lives endured from slavery to Jim Crow across a landscape lost beneath big box stores, subdivisions, and tourist sites. Avoiding Gone With the Wind imagery, the book takes readers to slavery's less expected locale: where big house means log cabin and plantation is a small-grain farm with tarantulas mating in the corn. One author's look at a stumbled-upon past set in motion after finding the words, "Had slaves".
Catherine Sasanov is the author of two previous poetry collections, Traditions of Bread and Violence (Four Way Books) and All the Blood Tethers (Northeastern University Press), as well as the theater work, Las Horas de Belèn: A Book of Hours, commissioned by Mabou Mines. She is a recipient of fellowships and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation. She lives in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts.
About Firewheel Editions/The Sentence Book Award:
Firewheel Editions is a non-profit organization. It publishes "Sentence: a Journal of Prose Poeticss" and sponsors the Sentence Book Award which goes annually to a manuscript consisting entirely or substantially of prose poems or other hard-to-define work situated in the grey areas between poetry and other genres. The press also offers an annual chapbook award, looking for innovative work that crosses genres, combines images and text, comes in formats other than the traditionally bound book, or that may have difficulty finding a publisher due to the nature, typography, or format of the work.
Had Slaves by Catherine Sasanov
99 pages, $18.00
related links: human condition, poetry