Tag Archives: Tips for Domestic Travel

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 Spotlight: Hayden Saunier


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.

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.

Hayden Saunier on Verse Daily

In case you missed it, Hayden Saunier’s poem “Last Will” appeared on Verse Daily last week. “Last Will” is from Tips from Domestic Travel, which was published by Black Lawrence Press in 2009. You can read the poem and learn more about Hayden by following this link.

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

You can also put in an order for Tips for Domestic Travel at one of BLP’s favorite indie bookstores such as The Flying Pig, Village Books, The King’s English, or Burke’s Book Store.

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.

This Sunday at The Bowery Poetry Club

Dear Friends,

Please come out to The Bowery Poetry Club this Sunday, November 15th at 6 PM to hear Black Lawrence Press poets Hayden Saunier, Shelley Puhak, and Rachel Galvin read from their recently released collections. Laura McCullough, the emcee of the evening, has a book forthcoming from Black Lawrence Press and will also read.

PuhakShelley Puhak’s poems have appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, New Delta Review, New South, Third Coast, and other journals. She earned her MFA from the University of New Orleans and her MA from the University of Delaware. She was a 2007 Maryland State Arts Council grant recipient and is currently Writer-in-Residence at the College of Notre Dame of Maryland. Shelley is the author of Stalin in Aruba.Saunier Cover

Hayden Saunier‘s poetry has appeared in 5 A.M., Beloit Poetry Journal, Mad Poets Review, Margie, Nimrod, Philadelphia Stories, Drunken Boat and Rattle, among others. She is the 2005 winner of the Robert Fraser Poetry Award, a Bucks County Poet Laureate and a Pushcart Prize nominee. An actress and voice-over artist, her film and television credits include The Sixth Sense, Philadelphia Diary and Hack. She is a graduate of the University of Virginia and holds an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars. Her debut collection of poems, Tips For Domestic Travel, was a finalist for the St. Lawrence Book Award.

GalvinCoverRachel Galvin is a graduate student in Comparative Literature at Princeton University, where she studies twentieth century poetry. She has been a fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and Hedgebrook. Her poems and translations appear in journals such as Gulf Coast, Spinning Jenny, Paintbrush, Del Sol Review, and Nimrod. She recently completed a translation of Raymond Queneau’s Courir les rues and is now translating Cesar Vallejo’s Poemas Humanos. Her first book of poems, Pulleys & Locomotion, was recently published by Black Lawrence Press.

Laura McCullough has three collections of poetry, Speech Acts, forthcoming from Black Lawrence Press (2010), What Men Want (2008) and The Dancing Bear (2006) as well as a collection of prose poems, Elephant Anger, at Mudlark online. Her poems, reviews, essays, and short prose have appeared or are forthcoming in The American Poetry Review, The Writers Chronicle, Prairie Schooner Review, Hotel America, Pebble Lake, New South, Crab Orchard, and many other journals. She has an MFA from Goddard College and is a doctoral student in poetry at Bangor University in Wales. She’s won two NJ State Arts Fellowships, been a Prairie Schooner Scholar in poetry, attended the Vermont Studio, Colrain, been a contributor and staff member at Bread Loaf. She founded the Creative Writing Program at Brookdale Community College in NJ where she teaches full time.

Wow! All this for just four bucks at the door. We hope to see you there!

The Bowery Poetry Club is located at 308 Bowery in Manhattan between Houston and Bleeker.

– Your Friends at Black Lawrence Press

P.S. Can’t make it to the event? You can purchase copies of the books on the Black Lawrence Press website.