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Poetry | paper | 160 pgs | $15.95 |
ISBN-13: 978-1-945588-36-5

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Days of Our Lives

Joan Aleshire

Day of Our Lives is equal parts social history and memoir documenting the unraveling of a marriage against the backdrop of the shifting social mores of 1960s and ’70s America. Joan Aleshire’s speaker, a young wife, enters marriage gratefully, even eagerly, believing it to be “a long table / with friends crowding in, red wine / in tumblers.” Motherhood follows, but so do infidelities and reconciliation and ultimately divorce. With each hard knock, the speaker sheds a little more of her innocence as she gains awareness of her power as both a woman and a writer: “Coming home / late from a festival for women / where I’d said all the things / the audience liked, I slipped / into bed so flush with triumph / my husband recoiled from the heat.”

For What We Are About to Receive

I didn’t know I’d wanted this—
long tables covered in Indian prints
and laid with simple order for the meal,
and gathered there, the broken
and the lost, hoping to be mended
or found or soothed:
Annie Murt, and Eddie D and all
the others hurt from birth and cruelties,
but as kind to me, a visitor,
as if they’d always known kindness.

For what we are about to receive:
We took our places at the tables,
a dark, slim, dashing charmer
at mine, noticing me as I
noticed him, and I began to sail,
with hardly a thought, down the road
of sorrow, knowledge, and no regret:
all the life I’ve had because of that evening,
the man I fell in love with, or the place.

About the Author


  • “Most poets choose: navigate the personal or navigate the public. In Days of Our Lives, Aleshire abandons the choice. Instead, opts for the gospel that is all the ways our private turns at living are never as private as we imagine. As if, all of it, our love and the nation’s loss, hang by the thinnest of wires.” —Reginald Dwayne Betts
  • “Joan Aleshire’s absorbing memoir in poems reminds us that truth requires modesty, precision, and vision unclouded by ego. Her unfailing candor offers the everyday as the only day, where love and its betrayals unfold, and where, with the skillful composure and narrative drive of a seasoned poet’s telling, she parallels the slow erosion of a marriage with the disenchantment of a generation—and does it with tact and insight, and, most wonderfully, without blame or regret.” —Eleanor Wilner
  • "I couldn’t stop reading it, with the suspense of a novel, page after page; the stories build, a brilliant chronology — every day is a diary of detail in a marriage that starts at the very first touch between two people on a rooftop and moves to its dreadful conclusion....Gluck comes to mind more than once here, with the control, the ability to temporize decline and keep it alive and make it last through the pages...." Read the full review.
  • "... a memoir in poems strung together like beads on a rosary or an abacus, both of which are ways of marking the passage of time. Set against the backdrop of the social and political upheaval of the '60s and '70s, the book is a study in slow transformation: the kind that accrues imperceptibly, over boring afternoons and epic arguments and other random data points that comprise the trajectory of a life...." Read the full review.

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