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Some of the Children Were Listening



In her first book Lauren Sanderson creates landscapes—mythic and psychological—with deep images that evoke the early work of Robert Bly and W. S. Merwin. Her poems open into surprises and shocks with a vision of the gendered world where violence and love illuminate the human struggle and the primordial and the contemporary merge. An impressive debut.

- Peter Balakian, author of Ozone Journal

As its title suggests, Lauren Sanderson’s Some of the Children Were Listening is both intimate and impressionistic. Textures of gendered violence come through like an argument behind a closed door—no less visceral for their subtlety, their sometimes-warped language. Here, old losses and fresh questions haunt the landscape, where the boundlessness of grief pushes against the walls of Sanderson’s tightly-bound stanzas. Far from claustrophobic, these little rooms make for an rich, expansive interiority, one that not only mourns but also imagines, celebrates, and continuously surprises.

—Franny Choi, author of Soft Science

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