Tag Archives: Hayden Saunier

National Poetry Month Spotlight: Hayden Saunier

Poem in Search of a Horse

Time is not reading the poem as you
read the poem, but rest assured he’s slipped
into the room in his soft, polished shoes,
with his little cough, his bowler hat in hand,
so sorry to disturb. It isn’t that he doesn’t like
to read, he loves to lean across your shoulder,
let you feel his breath, a delicate subzero
on your neck, but he’s impatient with anything
but haiku. Ignore him. He’ll pretend
he doesn’t care, proceed to wind the clocks
with tiny keys or stretch out on a sofa, tap
a tree branch on a pane and wait you out.
Meanwhile, the poem persists in its solitary
business of resisting being made, trying
the usual tactics: silence, tantrum, argument
over rules of play until the stuck mind panics,
a tarantula in soft tar, shouts words out
like charades: moon! anapest! plumage! boat!
desperate to drown out the silence accompanying
the figure in the well-cut suit, now polishing
the gold case of his pocket watch, remarking
how words pile up like big rigs on a fogged-in
freeway: apple! rainfall!  pasture! bell! and even
when the poem finds some purchase, scrambles
up a narrow footpath through a field and stands
inside a grassy insect buzz, holding out
a shaky palm of sugar to conjure up a horse,
a distant train will whistle, spooking anything
half wild. You’re back exactly where you started.
Cough-cough. Soft shoes. Tick tock. No horse.

(Poem first published in Rattle, Issue 31.)

Q: Where is your favorite place to write?

A: The kitchen.

Q: Do you remember the first poem you read that really blew your mind?

A: “These” by William Carlos Williams

Q: What is the most interesting thing that has happened to you in the last 12 months?

A: Interesting? Two children in their teens.

Hayden Saunier’s poetry has appeared in Beloit Poetry Journal, Drunken Boat,
5 A.M., Margie, Rattle, and Nimrod, among others. Tips for Domestic Travel (Black Lawrence Press) is her first book of poetry.

National Poetry Month Wrap-Up

As April draws to a close, we’d like to extend our heartfelt thanks to the Black Lawrence Press authors who participated in our National Poetry Month feature:

David Rigsbee, “Pilot House
Marcela Sulak, “Pomelo With Fallen Angel
Shelley Puhak, “War
T.J. Beitelman, “The Inciting Incident
Laura McCullough, “The Ellisionist
Jason Tandon, “Work
Abayomi Animashaun, “A New Religion
Carol Guess, “Kicks
Joe Wilkins, “A Roadside Diner in Iowa
Lisa Fay Coutley, “In the Carnival of Breathing
Matthew Gavin Frank, “After Il Sergente Serbo e Sua Moglie
Michele Battiste, “Nobody Leaves
Katharine Rauk, “How Many Weeks are in a Day and How Many Years in a Month?
Brent Goodman, “Another Prayer
Stefi Weisburd, “Behind My Ear is a Little Palace in Broad Daylight
Larry Matsuda, “Arc de Triomphe, 2003 Invasion of Iraq
Sandra Kolankiewicz, “Winter Sonata
Frank Matagrano, “Waiting with Alexandria for Her Mom
Hayden Saunier, “Beach
Kevin Pilkington, “Milk
Michael Hemmingson, “Sedona
Erica Wright, “Reservoir
Keith Taylor, “At the Living Creche
James Reidel, “Ave Maria afarensis
Helen Marie Casey, “Mary Dyer’s Courtship
Brad Ricca, “Workshop
Daniele Pantano, “The Oldest Hands in the World
Julia Cohen, “Panic at My Wilderness
Rachel Galvin, “In Cambium Lucida

And most importantly, thank you to everyone who read, shared, and commented on these poems — you’ve made this event a big success!

National Poetry Month Spotlight: Hayden Saunier

BEACH

I’ve never found the body of a man
although the ocean takes one from the village

every year. Sometimes a rogue wave lifts
a tourist off the rocks below the lighthouse

but it’s rare— most bodies never reappear.
Each day bring buoys, candles, beer cans, rope.

The year the dead seal came into the cove
I thought, at first, it was a man. Such size

and bloat. No tide would take it back.
I rowed out to the carcass, pressed my oar

against the give of deep-scarred fur,
tried forcing it to follow other currents

but it rolled away toward shore and each time
showed me more of what’s inside.

To hell with it, I thought, I’m used to living
with the dead. I challenged: stay. By morning,

it was gone— ghost ship—  away.  Leaving me
the usual remains. Flat sea. Memory.

Q: Do you remember where you were and what you were doing on the day you wrote the above poem?

A: I’ve re-written this poem so many times that I really don’t remember my first go at it.  I do, however, remember the image that inspired it:  that dead seal, day after day, one summer in Maine. It was relentless and there was nothing to be done. We had to live with it. And then it went away.

Q: What is the last book you’ve read that made you want to grab a pen and write?

A: Speaking of Maine, Olive Kitteridge was among my favorite books this year. It didn’t really make me want to grab and pen— but it made me grateful that she, Elizabeth Strout, had.

Q: What is the most sublime meal you’ve ever eaten?

A: Why does the unexpected taste the best? Twenty years ago, my husband and I were lost, hot, tired and looking for a ferry in Central America, when we followed a dinged-up metal sign into someone’s back yard and ate the most amazing fresh conch in garlic paired with very cold beer. We didn’t feel our backpacks after that.

Hayden Saunier’s poetry collection Tips for Domestic Travel is available for purchase at Black Lawrence Press.

BLP Celebrates National Poetry Month

Black Lawrence Press will celebrate National Poetry Month by featuring a poem by one of our authors every day on the blog. Each poem will be accompanied by a short Q&A with the author. Participating authors include:

Abayomi Animashaun
Michele Battiste
T.J. Beitelman
Helen Marie Casey
Lisa Fay Coutley
Matthew Gavin Frank
Rachel Galvin
Brent Goodman
Carol Guess
Sandra Kolankiewicz
Frank Matagrano
Lawrance Matsuda
Laura McCullough
Kevin Pilkington
Shelley Puhak
Katharine Rauk
James Reidel
Brad Ricca
David Rigsbee
Hayden Saunier
Marcela Sulak
Jason Tandon
Keith Taylor
Stefi Weisburd
Joe Wilkins
Erica Wright

So be sure to check the BLP blog every day in the month of April for some great reading!

Poems, Short Stories, and Revelry

Black Lawrence Press–and its fantastic stable of writers–invites you to read, drink, and be merry on Friday, April 9th at 7:30 PM. Join us at Lola for drinks as we toast the release of The Giving of Pears by Abayomi Animashaun. The Giving of Pears won the Hudson Prize in 2008. Readings by Hayden Saunier (Tips for Domestic Travel), Paul Kilgore  (Losing Camille), and Michele Battiste  (Ink for an Odd Cartography).

What: Book Release Party and Reading
Where: Lola, 1575 Boulder Street, Denver
When: Friday, April 9th
Time: 7:30 PM  – 11:30 PM
Also: Did we mention the free drinks?

Email diane@blacklawrencepress.com if you have a question about this event.

Tips For Domestic Travel in The Midwest Book Review

A new review of Tips for Domestic Travel was published in the January issue of the Midwest Book Review:

An educator with a flair for drama, Hayden Saunier brings readers a fine volume of poetry. “Tips for Domestic Travel” is a collection of poetry drawing on her own experiences as a teacher and actress, and gives readers her own unique view of the world through her expert verse. “Tips for Domestic Travel” is a worthy addition to poetry collections. “Small Memory”: My mother is riding a bicycle/for the last time,//turning slow careful circles/around a sandy road//that ends abruptly at the sea./She’s seventy-three.//She lets go the handlebars,/claps twice like a magician,//and waves goodbye to me.

Tips for Domestic Travel is available from Black Lawrence Press and Amazon.

January 29: Hayden Saunier at New Dominion Bookshop

On Friday, January 29 at 5:30 PM, New Dominion Bookshop will host Hayden Saunier, Aaron Baker, and Ed Skoog. Hayden Saunier will be reading from Tips for Domestic Travel, which was a finalist for the St. Lawrence Book Award and was published by Black Lawrence Press earlier this year. Aaron Baker will be reading from Mission Work and Ed Skoog will be reading from Mister Skylight.

New Dominion Bookshop is located at 404 East Main Street in Charlottesville, Virginia.