The Dream That is Childhood: A Memoir in Verse
CIRQUE PRESS proudly announces The Dream That is Childhood: A Memoir in Verse by Sandra Wassilie.
The Dream That Is Childhood: A Memoir in Verse introduces a young girl growing into awareness of an uncertain world through an apprenticeship with the wilderness of territorial Alaska. Set during the years of the Cold War, it recalls a particular place, dominated by a lake, on the north side of the Alaska Range. It is a glimpse into the middle of the twentieth century from a child whose scant knowledge of the outside world comes mainly from overhearing the talk of adults and from books. Her daily life involves dog teams, boats, and planes. The outside world is different.
Wassilie writes in a narrative style that leaps into the lyrical and into depths of mystery whether of waterweeds or parental behavior or her own changing body. Her childhood is a negotiation between loneness and a growing family in a hybrid community of woodsmen and government workers, between being lost in books and immersed in the forest, if not the changing moods of the sky and lake. She confronts the harsh beauty of her life equally with sorrow and humor. She comes to accept it as a series of arrivals and departures with hard choices to be made along the way. And in that acceptance, she finds she can forgive.
Wassilie's poems are a wellspring of keen observations, written purely from the heart, with a sense of deep time and connection to place.
— Kathleen Tarr, author of We Are All Poets Here
Like a prospector, Sandra Wassilie has tunneled, sifted and arranged the specks and nuggets of her Alaska childhood into a collection worthy of the art of poetry.
— Doug Capra, author of The Spaces Between: Stories from the Kenai Mountains to the Kenai Fjords
Cirque Press Author — Sandra Wassilie
Writer, educator, and naturalist, Sandra Wassilie currently lives in Oakland, CA. She has served as managing and poetry editors for the literary journal Fourteen Hills, and cofounded the Bay Area Generations Reading Series. Her work appears in the chapbook, Smoke Lifts, and in the anthologies: Peace Within, Writing Without Walls, sPARKLE & bLINK, Naked Bulb, and Civil Liberties United. Wassilie is a recipient of the Ann Fields Award and the Celestine Award for poetry. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University.
Born in San Francisco, Wassilie grew up in Alaska. She worked in adult basic and vocational education for over 25 years. She developed and managed literacy programs for Alaska Native organizations and the state Alaska Vocational Technical Center. She started a technical writing business, High Tide Writing, and developed curriculum related to Yup'ik and Sugpiaq cultures of Alaska.
Wassilie returns frequently to visit Alaska where she has family. She used to mush dogs, cross-country ski, and run in mountain footraces. Now she takes walks and studies trees.