Body Clock

Poetry by Eleni Sikelianos

October 1, 2008 • 7 x 10 • 150 pages • 978-1-56689-219-3

An exquisite exploration of motherhood and the elastic nature of time.

Lauded by Michael Ondaatje as an “unforgettable” writer and praised by the Washington Post for her ability to capture “the subtlest shades of the emotional palette,” Eleni Sikelianos now charts the curvature of growth and time, encompassing the bewilderment and delight of a new parent, while mapping the shape of our troubled world. Observing that “what is alive in the body clock is also ticking,” her poems and sketches illustrate the infinite possibilities unfurling as minutes give shape to hours, the body gives shape to a child, and events give shape to history.

About the Author

Eleni Sikelianos is the author of six books of poetry, most recently The Loving Detail of the Living and the Dead and The California Poem, which was a Barnes & Noble Best of the Year, as well as hybrid memoirs, The Book of Jon and You Animal Machine (The Golden Greek). Sikelianos teaches in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Denver. A California native, longtime New Yorker, and world traveler, she now lives in Boulder with her husband, the novelist Laird Hunt, and their daughter, Eva Grace.


“Tracing ‘the story of how we fell from timelessness to time’ is Sikelianos’s project in these lyrical flights. A master of contingency, she weaves intricate nets of association that connect newborns to watermelons to polar bears. And at the base of it all is the body, the human body, but also the bodies of minutes and hours, which she sketches as she times them, creating marvelous portraits of the otherwise invisible. This book is a tour-de-force of sound and hope, a brainy unraveling of enigma to reveal the enigmas underneath.” —Cole Swensen

“One enjoys standing at the sink with Sikelianos. Noticing, perhaps beauty, perhaps decay.” —California Journal of Poetics

“Part planetary book of confinement, part cosmic baby book, she fills this vivid account with the mindfulness, playfulness, and lyric intensity of a poet in the center of her bloom.” —C.D. Wright