Amy Newlove Schroeder
Winner of the 2009 FIELD Poetry Prize

Paper $15.95
(ISBN 978-0932440396)

Order Now

The harsh lines and sentence fragments in Schroeder's hard-to-forget debut create collisions between the libidinal and the numinous: "Struggling to get out / from under the hood of the world," the poet compares her unsatisfied desire to "Sailboats asleep in their slips," declaring "I love you the way the ground loves the flame." Those phrases may begin to show the seriousness with which these taut poems take their goals: compressed yet raw, alert to the weights of words yet focused on emotion so strong it bends language all out of shape. Pre-Socratic philosophers, Jungian psychoanalysis, the heart-on-sleeve feel of Spanish modernism, and memories of loneliness in St. Louis all contribute to these always brief, always intense, and yet satisfyingly various pages, one about sex, another about a circus, another about a car ride on Interstate 5, another about a self-destructive friend: "What does it feel like to be in the rain of fire / Pull the veil of leaves over your face & sleep inside the burlap sack." Schroeder ought to appeal to readers who like Franz Wright, though she does not share Wright's recourse to doctrinal religion. Instead, she looks within her troubled self.
--Publishers Weekly

Amy Schroeder's The Sleep Hotel is a breathtaking debut. Elliptical, elegant, and gestural, these poems exhibit an intellectual acuity and a passionate discretion that consistently surprise and delight. Always lyrically inventive, Amy Schroeder has done nothing less than provide us with a new, ultra-contemporary poetic music for the meditations of the imagination and the heart.
--David St. John

As Virginia Woolf says about art, "It all depends at what depth you take the option." Amy Schroeder, poem after poem, takes it at a great and clear depth. There isn't a wasted breath in this book: everyone will find their favorite poems; I particularly admire "The Bone Room" and "How Wide. How Red. How Canopy." But every single poem here wakes us up with its odd, wise truth.
--Jean Valentine

Amy Newlove Schroeder's perfect title for her debut volume, The Sleep Hotel, is a guiding metaphor. These poems rise from the other side of the mirror, from the dream establishment we check into and out of each night. These poems rise from the startling, uninhibited speech below consciousness, then are boldly crafted, as dream logic lifts into wide-awake fire. These are passionate, radically beautiful poems, heartbreak hotel in somatic heaven: so inventive and freshly expressive they hand us, as if dropped from the famously extended hand of John Keats, the key to pure wonder.
--Carol Muske-Dukes


Her mother misusing the word elegiac;
her father calling himself stupid
She runs a tongue over her teeth, thinking
anchorite, cenobite, bite down

The dog on the lawn, humping his pillow.
The back yard: eugenias and junipers,
browning fescue. Avocados,
azaleas dying in-to-out,
eight star sky.

Flower arranging—a large spiky blue flower
no one knew the name of, looked like a peacock,

The house, the house, the house.

John the Baptist ate bugs, she says
to no one in particular.
Locusts, I think.

She was one of, and her sister beside,
giggling in and out. Breathing.

Someone slips on the mossy bricks. Someone laughs.
Someone blows out the candles, turns on the Jacuzzi,
models the new clothes. Someone covers her mouth.

Way back then, when we used to fight, she thinks, at least then we...

Dessert. Desert. Be certain.

Copyright c 2010 by Amy Newlove Schroeder. May not be reproduced without permission.

50 N. Professor Street, Oberlin, OH 44074-1095 | Tel 440.775.8408 | Fax 440.775.8124 | Email
Copyright © Oberlin College Press 2006 | Design by Brandon Ramos