Insomnia in Another Town
Lisa M. Hase-Jackson
Insomnia in Another Town is a peripatetic exploration of place and displacement; animal life and strange weathers; the exigencies of race, class, and gender as childhood memories emit a dark radiance by which to navigate the present. These poems are quietly perceptive, unflinching: “There is no small grief… / for all are / interconnected. One touch / sends tremors through our core / like the fly in the web / that wakes the spider at its center.” Nevertheless, there’s significant courage here with grace notes of buoyancy as readers are reawakened to “joy in bird song along the power lines / and between the tunes / on the radio, / the interstices / of thoughts / no one thinks about.”
—Claire Bateman, author of Wonders of the Invisible World, Scape, and Coronology
Insomnia in Another Town is a remarkable meditation about memory, mother-daughter relationships, and the opaque nature of family history, whether in the form of rumor, hearsay, or as one poem’s narrator puts it, “I’ve heard it both ways.” With profound clarity and tenderness, Hase-Jackson blends elegy, pop culture, and our fears around dying as a way to explore an array of human experiences, such as when “being broke felt more like being poor,” alongside the everyday miracles of how “luck becomes blooms becomes beans,” ultimately revealing what can and cannot be mended.
—Esther Lee, author of Blank Missives, Spit, and Sacrificial Metal
From the opening poem of Lisa Hase-Jackson’s impactful collection, Insomnia in Another Town, we learn that “There is no small grief…all are interconnected.” These poems, cloaked in memory and the unmaking and re-making of family, travel us through the harvest of a poet’s life. Like the farms she made grow, this book tills the soil of a human soul and all the many experiences that make it. In pantoums, free verse, and prose poems, Hase-Jackson demonstrates the way that every lived experience weaves into a root system that bears unique fruit, singular as our heartbeats, our winding fingerprints.
—Ashley M. Jones, poet laureate of Alabama
About the Author
Lisa Hase-Jackson’s poetry explores the complexities of interpersonal relationships through the lens of American culture and the promise of happiness that never quite manifests for a majority of its citizens. Rooted firmly in place, landscapes populate her poems as vividly as do people and events. Born in Portland, Oregon and raised in the Midwest and Southwest, Lisa currently lives in Charleston, South Carolina, where moonlit Spanish moss and salt marshes continue to mystify her.