Award-Winning Poetry Collection by
Susan Atefat Peckham
Posted September 26, 2001
HOLLAND -- Publication of "That Kind of Sleep," a
collection of 30 poems by Dr. Susan Atefat Peckham,
assistant professor of English at Hope College, has been
announced by Coffee House Press in Minneapolis, Minn.
The book was one of five recipients of the
prestigious National Poetry Series award in 2000, chosen
from a pool of 1,500 manuscripts submitted by established
and emerging American poets. Five distinguished poets each
selected a book to be published by a major literary press.
Atefat Peckham's manuscript was chosen by Victor Hernandez
Cruz, for the Coffee House Press.
In addition to publication of the book, the award
includes $1,000 and a book tour. In the coming year, Atefat
Peckham is scheduled to give over 20 readings from the book,
around the country.
Cruz has said, "'That Kind of Sleep' is a pendulum
between cultures and I might add epochs. Reading these
Islamic Persian influenced poems, one disappears through so
many columns of history, as the poet intermingles the
places, the references. There are poems about becoming a
woman, and poems about death that are full of so much sense
of life. From America and from an interior of incense, this
poet gives us a joy of flashes which makes us all ancient
and renewed in a paradise of language, dancing in spirals,
Well-known literary scholar and poet Stephen
Behrendt wrote, "'That Kind of Sleep' is a remarkable
achievement, an intricately woven tapestry of self and
society whose fabric traces two worlds, two cultures.
Varied and accomplished in their technical artistry, and
original and distinctive in voice, these richly detailed and
compelling poems exhibit the striking maturity and insight
of a poet who has reflected long and carefully on her
extraordinary subject matter. This is a brilliant debut."
Susan Atefat Peckham was born first-generation
American to Iranian parents, and has lived much of her life
in France and Switzerland although she has also lived in the
United States and Iran. She earned her bachelor of science
degree from Baylor University in pre-med biology and
chemistry in 1991, master of arts in English from Baylor in
1994, and doctorate in English from University of Nebraska-
Lincoln in 1999.
In addition to poetry, she writes creative
nonfiction and is a musician and an abstract expressionist
painter. She joined the Hope faculty in 1999.
Atefat Peckham's nonfiction manuscript, "Black
Eyed Bird," finished in the final rounds of judging for the
Associated Writing Programs Intro Award in 2000, and was
runner-up for the Beryl Markham Award in Creative Nonfiction
at Story Line Press in 2001.
Her work has been selected for inclusion in an
anthology, "Common Ground" (Prentice-Hall, 2002) and new
work has appeared or is forthcoming in "Borderlands: Texas
Poetry Review," "The International Poetry Review,"
"International Quarterly," "The Literary Review," "The
MacGuffin," "Northwest Review," "Onthebus," "Prairie
Schooner," "Puerto Del Sol," "The Southern Poetry Review,"
"The Sycamore Review," "The Texas Review" and "Under the