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, whirling, whirling."
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 Sun."