Earliest Worlds

Poetry by Eleni Sikelianos

April 1, 2001 • 7 x 10 • 176 pages • 978-1-56689-114-1

The velocity of language, the ferocity of poetry unearth our most thinking, feeling, erotic selves in this powerful debut.

This impressive debut of a major new voice in poetry begins with Blue Guide, a poem cycle of meditations on light and dark, probing the opposing/complementary nature of these universal principles and their manifestation through words. In Of Sun, Of History, Of Seeing, the oracular power of language fuels the journey between constellations shimmering above and the mind shimmering in response below, between phenomenology and phenomena. Sikelianos says, “I am interested in the absolute ferocity of poetry, in our wild, eccentric human selves and animal and mineral planet, untainted by but interacting with socializing forces.”

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.


“Sikelianos directs us, surprise in each line, to return to the unconscious, to the fierce, absolute sign, out of whose nourishing hand her poetry advances.” —Barbara Guest

“The real and the imagined, waking life and dream, the simple and the complex . . . work together and play together in Eleni Sikelianos’s poetry with a wonderful elasticity and verve.” —Lydia Davis

“An original and beautiful poetry, always discovering its own grammar and name, its own secrets. The poetry comes from her and not others: it is incomparable.” —Alice Notley

“Consistently wedding innovative technique with time-honored poetic tropes of light and dark, individual and cosmos, and self and other, this ambitious debut takes in a lot of influences but emerges singularly and beautifully.” —Publishers Weekly