A winner of the 2009 University of Arkansas Press Poetry Series, A Sunday in God-Years takes its title from the notion that if we consider ourselves inside the long stretch of geologic time, human history happens in the blink of God’s eye as he rolls over during a Sunday nap. The book is centered on the long poem “A Reckoning,” made up of fifteen shorter sections (some of them documents like wills and runaway slave notices). This long poem tries to reckon and recognize the sticky webs that bind the heirs of those who were slave holders (like the Boisseaus) and of those who were held as slaves.
“In every line on every page of this beautiful and ambitious book, the present comprehends the past ‘the way the sidewalk burns hours after / the sun’s gone down.’ Unsentimental, stunningly alive in sound as well as sense, compassionate, unflinchingly honest, A Sunday in God-Years is a flat out wonderful book, one of the best I’ve read in years.”—Alan Shapiro, author of Old War: Poems
“Even a ‘ragged chunk of limestone’ opens up expanses of geological, historical, and familial time in the artful hands of Michelle Boisseau, who revisits her slave-owning ancestry for a reckoning. . . . Her poems are a unique blend of sensuality, rue, fresh insight, engaging candor, anguish, wicked humor, taut lyricism and a pungent dash of caustic.”—Eleanor Wilner, author of The Girl with Bees in Her Hair
“The title of this splendid book reflects the tonal complexity of these richly layered poems. . . . Boisseau sounds like nobody else and her vision demands our attention.”—Mark Jarman, author of Epistles: Poems
Michelle Boisseau is Professor of English at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where she also serves as associate editor of BkMk Press. She is the author of three books of poetry: No Private Life; Understory, winner of the Samuel French Morse Prize; and Trembling Air, a PEN/USA finalist. She is also co-author (with Randall Mann and Robert Wallace) of the popular book Writing Poems (Longman, 2007), now in its seventh edition.