Life Revised by Leah Stenson

Leah Stenson’s Life Revised, a memoir about suicide, is a compelling literary montage of poetry and narrative prose that examines the author’s reactions to the simultaneous loss of her grandparents–one by suicide, the other an unintended consequence of that suicide. In this unflinching and revealing exploration of personal tragedy, Stenson takes us beyond suffering to her ultimate healing through her Buddhist practice. In a world where suicide is relentlessly on the increase, the need for open, honest communication surrounding suicide and its aftermath has never been greater. Life Revised offers insight into resilience of the human spirit.

“If we are to read poetry and prose together in words that speak directly to our spirit, let it be in the beautifully, heart embracing warmth and affection of the language of Life Revised. The complexity of Stenson’s work and clarity of language draws the reader into family dynamics, challenging us to bear witness to transcendence unfolding within and around us. Life Revised shows us how we can know ourselves, and through this discover healing of the heart and mind.”

—Dr. Fanny Brewster, Jungian analyst and author of Archetypal Grief: Slavery’s Legacy of Intergenerational Child Loss

“In prose reflections and poems that invoke the landscapes, rooms, sounds and atmospheres of the past, Life Revised maps a journey from anger’s unknowing to new understandings and the perspectives they afford. In this moving and courageous book, Leah Stenson becomes, as she affirms, the author of her own life.”

—Lex Runciman, author of Salt Moons: Poems 1981-2016

“Breaking apart a life of struggle, perseverance, despair, and hope into brief fragments that must resonate individually while, combined, paint a robust human portrait is a monumental task. But Stenson does it, somehow, magically, with wisdom and honesty, exploring the many contradictions and paradoxes of relationships—both familial and societal. Her ability to probe the human condition with such elegant prose and heartfelt poetry is a treat that remains fresh and vital to the last page.”

—John Sibley Williams, author of As One Fire Consumes Another and Skin Memory

“Here is a modern woman boldly sharing her truth. Life Revised is both wise and compelling. Leah Stenson makes no attempt to disguise her troubles, mistakes, or regrets. Instead she shows us her winding path from trouble to understanding. Once I started following Stenson on her journey, I couldn’t stop reading.”

—Penelope Scambly Schott, author of A is for Anne and Love Song for Dufur… Read More

Waves by Chris Laskowski
CIRQUE Press Books

“Building community is so important, especially at this time. That’s one of the reasons I wanted to publish with Cirque. You do so much more than publish books. You support your authors individually and collectively and work hard to create … Read More

Author Index – original

Author Index A Allen, Luther deer hunter 9(2), 19 Amilie, Kari Nielsen Christmas in Patagonia 10(1), 57 10-Minute Lunch Break Poem 10(1), 57 Amore, Martha Winterkill 10(1), 19 Anderson, Jean Shadow Play: Writing Introspective Fiction in an Action-Oriented Land 10(4), … Read More

Contests and Prizes

Contests and Prizes The Andy Hope Literary Award This award is the brainchild of writer Vivian Faith Prescott. Vivian co-directs Raven’s Blanket, a non-profit based in Wrangell, Alaska, whose mission is to enhance and perpetuate the cultural wellness and traditions … Read More


About Cirque was founded in 2009 by Anchorage poet Mike Burwell. Cirque, published in Anchorage, Alaska, is a regional journal created to share the best writing in the region with the rest of the world. This regional literary journal invites … Read More


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Contact For information on submitting to Cirque, please click here. Send all inquiries to: Sandra Kleven, Editor [email protected]

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