At the turn of the tenth century, Sei Shōnagon, lady-in-waiting to the Japanese Empress, wrote her Pillow Book by candlelight. A fragmented collection of lists, anecdotes, and descriptions of daily life in court, she kept it in a drawer inside her pillow of polished bamboo. Suzanne Buffam’s A Pillow Book is a modern riff on Shōnagon’s work: lists, descriptions of dreams, scenes from her life, and bits of research on sleep and the history of pillows together form a funny, intimate and thoughtful meditation on insomnia.
“To dislike this poem, to dislike me,” begins one of the poems in Elizabeth Bachinsky’s The Hottest Summer in Recorded History. The line is both a continuation of the title, “Somewhere there is Someone Waiting,” and a statement that stands on its own, asserting that the poem and its speaker are equivalent, and playfully challenging […]