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American Sampler
American Sampler

American Sampler


64 Pages, 5.25 x 8.5

Formats: Trade Paper, PDF, EPUB, Mobipocket

Trade Paper, $15.95 (US $15.95) (CA $18.95)

Publication Date: January 2015

ISBN 9781907587382

Rights: US & CA

Enitharmon Press (Jan 2015)


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In 1806, 12-year-old Hannah embroiders the sampler of the long title poem. As the seasons pass, she works through her grief in the language of embroidery; for among the births and deaths recorded in Hannah's stitches are those of her little brother Nathan. American Sampler is about vanishing worlds and the struggle of memory, craft, and imagination to hold fragments of the past and turn them into fresh, breathing moments. Jane Duran's childhood memories of rural New England—its landscapes, weather, and light—permeate many of the poems. A beaded moccasin, a folk painting, a letter from a Union soldier, a Tappan chair: art, artifact, and archive inform and illuminate these sympathetic glimpses into an America long past.


"Duran ... twists her hybrid colours into rich, sensual, and perfectly controlled statements of memory and loss ... A poet to rejoice in." —The Observer  

"Jane Duran's poems are pensive, lyrical, sensual and attentive . . . a poet whose robust sensibility, verbal precision and originality of thought deserve to win her new admirers." —Times Literary Supplement

"The visible, physical world is alive in these poems, and their verbal rhythms, while unobtrusive, are sure; yet the complex images they evoke live in the mind much more than in the senses." —Sarah Kafatou, Harvard Review Online

"This is not simply liberal, post-colonial breast-beating but part of the larger project of the collection, which is to bring the past into the present through language and to create in the poem a place where past and present can coexist." —Kathleen McPhilemy, Sofia Magazine

Author Biography

Jane Duran is the author of the poetry collections Breathe Now, Breathe, which won the Forward Prize for Best First Collection; Coastal and Graceline; and Silences from the Spanish Civil War, the latter two having received PBS Recommendations.