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Monday July 21, 2014 in Books
Even though we spend a third of our lives asleep, the behaviour remains largely a mystery. Sandra Huber’s first book, Assembling the Morrow: A Poetics of Sleep, assumes that any attempt to solve this mystery requires new modes of experimentation. What happens when the line of a Berger’s wave (an electroencephalography recording of brainwaves in sleep) turns into a line of poetry, an act of focused consciousness?
The earliest readings of the sleeping brain, captured by EEGs in the 1930s, revealed that sleep is as active and lively as its daytime counterpart, not simply a passive state that naturally ensues when wakefulness ceases. Sleep not only assimilates the day that’s passed, but also looks forward, assembling what’s to come. To engage this concept, Huber sculpts a long poem onto the neural oscillations of sleep, in order to explore what is beneath them both: the conscious organism, the writer, and the written. In the field of the poem, where sleep is traditionally a metaphor for death, the idea that to be awake is to be alive is put to the test in a new kind of writing that invites a new kind of being.
Prefaced by a discussion on poetry, the science of sleep, and those who have sought a language of consciousness – from Hans Berger to Gertrude Stein – Assembling the Morrow proposes that entering the mystery of sleep requires a radical reframing of our biases on what it means to be conscious.
ISBN 13: 9780889229105 | ISBN 10: 0889229104
5.5 W x 9 H inches | 144 pages
$24.95 CAN / $24.95 US
Backlist | Poetry
QUOTES OF NOTE
“Huber uses the evocative language of explorers to guide the reader through the stages of sleep … Huber allows the emergent properties of sleep to be captured – the poem in the patterns is visible. … a daring and relevant addition to the lineage of ‘the line’ in poetry.”
About the ContributorsSandra Huber
Sandra Huber is a Swiss-Canadian writer of poetry and fiction. In 2010, Huber spent nine months as resident writer at a sleep laboratory via Artist-in-Labs Switzerland; her resulting book of poetry, Assembling the Morrow: A Poetics of Sleep, is her first.
We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Canada Council for the Arts; the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund (CBF); and the Province of British Columbia through the British Columbia Arts Council for our publishing activities.