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Today's poem is "Foundations for Fire"


from Nomadic Foundations

Elixir Press

Sandra Meek is an assistant professor of English at Berry College, where she teaches creative writing and contemporary literature. She served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Botswana from 1989 to 1991, and received an M.F.A. from Colorado State University and a Ph.D. from the University of Denver. Her chapbook, The Circumference of Arrival, was published by Elixir Press in 2001. Her poems have appeared in The Iowa Review, The Kenyon Review, Prairie Schooner, Conjunctions, Quarterly West, and many other journals.

About Nomadic Foundations:

"The landscape of Botswana, and its otherness to human understanding, is palpable in these poems.... The book explores and enacts (not least in its estrangements of language) the otherness of the physical and social worlds, and the ways in which they other the speaker. She neither romanticizes nor patronizes those conventionally defined 'others' who are her students, her colleagues, her friends, but instead recognizes and explores the ways in which she herself is other, not just to those around her, but to herself. Crossing borders of place and self, 'erasing/the margin of regret" while redrawing it, Sandra Meek tells us 'The history/ of the darkness of light,' making the vanishing visible."
—Reginald Shepherd

"Sandra Meek's book is dedicated to the secondary school students she taught in Botswana in 1990-1. It explores both sides of the Great Divide between the native culture and the one superficially imposed on it by the devloped world.... Meek is even-handed. She neither judges nor praises, but the reader comes away from these often stunning poems with a broken heart."
—Maxine Kumin

"Sandra Meek's poems show us, to adapt Wallace Stevens' memorable phrase, the mind in the act of finding what will suffice. In his case, the poet seeks a way to reenact experiences in the otherworld of Africa. THe remarkable result is narratives that emerge and submerge like the rivers and ghosts of rivers in the desert.... What we have here is best described by the poet herself, with characteristic originality: nomadic foundations."—Mark Jarman

"In Nomadic Foundations, Sandra Meek discoverse a deep cleanliness in this fly-blown, frightened world. Her tender advocacy of the unfamiliar declares a jubilee, and nothing could be more timely."
—Donald Revell

"The clear-eyed wonderment of this book derives from sympathy and humane responses to the full panoly of inhabitants of the world Meek has seen and lived on — Africa, of course, but also the internal continents of language and literature and love this book arises from.... The near-tangible realities of this book are a wonder and a gift to us all. This book is a necessary pleasure."
—Bin Ramke



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